Arsang Valipour, intensive care physician at the Floridsdorf Clinic, is bothered by one thing in particular: intensive care units are always 80 to 90 percent full. “These resource capacities that are supposedly available (50 percent free intensive care beds for Covid patients, note) do not exist,” Valipour clarified. This is often misrepresented in public.
The youngest patient is only 18
Means: “As a medical professional, I would say that the situation is now more than just tense.” In order for the acute care for Covid patients to continue, important operations have to be postponed and patients have to be shifted.
And: “We have many young patients with very dramatic courses,” said Valipour. The youngest patient on a Covid intensive care bed in Floridsdorf is 18. A trend that should cause us concern? Yes, confirmed the virologist Dorothee von Laer. The British variant is much more contagious, deadly and also more dangerous for young people.
Von Laer: Adapt vaccination strategy
Unfortunately, things get worse: In North Tyrol, an increased occurrence of the British virus mutation B.1.1.7 with further mutation features – called E484K addition – has made an exit test mandatory from Wednesday. This “mutated” mutation is particularly dangerous for the general public, explained von Laer: “The vaccination provides poorer protection against this mutant and you are no longer as well protected if you were infected with a conventional variant.” The virus is no longer recognized as well by the antibodies.
A November like 2020 is also possible this year: The vaccination strategy must be adapted to the mutations, warned von Laer. We know that Astra Zeneca “probably not protect so much” from the mutations. At least a refresher with Biontech / Pfizer in autumn for those who were only supplied with Astra Zeneca will probably be necessary.
“You should have reacted immediately”
Simulation researcher Niki Popper made it clear: “We have to brake now.” Means: The other federal states will also have to take tougher measures. The infection dynamics are not as extreme as in autumn, but the proportion of hospitalizations is higher, says Popper: “We have to break this dynamic.”
Von Laer cannot understand that the new measures in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland did not take effect until ten days after the meeting between the government and provincial governors last Monday: “The braking distance is very long. Therefore, one should have reacted immediately.”