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JKU Coronavirus Update on April 6

The Coronavirus update on April 6 also features model calculator Niki Popper.

There are signs that the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus will be relaxed after Easter. The government is expected to talk about a schedule on Monday already. The basis for this includes current figures from the weekend. But just how valid is the Coronavirus database? After all, the decisions have consequences that could go into the billions - for the health system, for the economy, and for society.

The true figures are undetermined because (at least for the time being) the entire population cannot be tested. In this regard, we do not really know just how many people in Austria have been infected by this particular virus or how many have died. We only know the number of people who have tested positive and the number of those who have died because of the Coronavirus, without a causal connection being established. Since we do not know the number of those infected, we also do not know the age distribution and how important previous illnesses are regarding this virus. Without the total number of infected persons, the base reproduction number (R0), meaning a certain extent of the virus's speedometer, and also the net reproduction number (Rt) cannot be determined reliably.

For this reason, last week a SORA study tested 2000 people in order to get a cross-section of the population. These people were also asked about how they are conducting themselves. This should provide information and conclusions about those currently infected in Austria. But is this sample representative enough to significantly improve Austria's data base?

There is also another unclear area. Hospitals have freed up almost all available capacity for Covid-19 patients. All scheduled (elective) surgeries have been postponed. Preventive health screenings are no longer being carried out. People are avoiding hospitals and doctors as much as they can. The resulting collateral damage to the healthcare system and the health economic consequences will also be discussed during the JKU Coronavirus update on Monday.

Rector Meinhard Lukas will discuss these and other questions with the following researchers:

  • Dr. Niki Popper, coordinator of the cross-disciplinary center Computational Complex Systems at the Vienna University of Technology and CSO of dwh Ltd.

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Quatember, Institute for Applied Statistics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz

  • Prof. Dr. Gerald Pruckner, Institute of Economics, Department of Health Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz

NEWS 09.04.2020