Some institutions have felt the harshness of the German corona regulations. With a view to a British study, the prioritization in this country now seems questionable.
Munich – pandemic driver? We don’t! This is the natural defensive attitude of every industry, which was carefully scrutinized in the course of the corona spread with regard to the risk of infection. And that is only too understandable, after all, nobody wants to have to attach themselves to the reputation of having favored infections.
In order to minimize this risk, all kinds of hygiene concepts were rushed out of the ground. For some, however, politics lowered its thumbs. And so hotels, restaurants, retail stores and, last but not least, educational institutions such as schools and universities had to close their doors temporarily.
Corona risk: British study investigates the largest sources of infection
The decision was made more on the basis of politicians and experts than on the basis of scientific knowledge. Because, quite simply, there is still no study on special danger zones in Germany. So where you are most likely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 or one of the mutants that are becoming more and more numerous.
This is exactly what scientists have now investigated for Great Britain. The result should at least give decision-makers in this country something to think about. The study was based on more than 2.3 million reported corona cases between November 1, 2020 and January 20, 2021 in the United Kingdom. The results have already been published in advance on the “Preprints with the Lancet” website.
Corona risk: British mutant B1.1.7 is easier to track due to unique genetics
The team was helped in the research by variant B1.1.7, which was first discovered in Great Britain, as it lacks a typical part of the spike protein. These unique genetics make it easier to trace the mutant’s trail when it spreads among the population.
Because only if this unique selling point is the same for two infected people who met at a certain location, there could have been a transmission between them. Otherwise these cases could not be related. The postcodes and positions recorded by the British health system NHS – employees or customers such as teachers or students – of the reported cases of infection were taken into account in order to be able to make connections more easily.
Video: Lauterbach considers booster vaccinations to be inevitable because of the Delta variant
Corona risk: Researchers divide the infected into three groups – be careful with the hairdresser
It was divided into three groups: at least two cases that could have met and do not belong to the same position; two cases that may have met and have the same position; two cases in the same position and reported as infected within three days, but not on the same day.
On this basis, the following result came about for the first group: Despite the low number of cases, the greatest risk comes from the use of body-friendly services (i.e. hairdresser, nail salon, foot care, etc.).
Visits from friends and acquaintances, then kindergarten and preschool, overnight stays with friends and acquaintances, special educational facilities, information and communication facilities, elementary schools follow closely behind. Accordingly, the lowest risk comes from shops, with these having the most cases after secondary schools.
Corona risk: In other groups, visits can be found at the very front
In group 2, in which students or work colleagues stay among themselves, visits from friends or acquaintances are clearly the greatest source of infection. Followed by kindergarten and preschool, other stays and then food production operations. Group 3, with reported cases on different days, also identified visits to friends and acquaintances as the greatest risk of infection, behind which lurk public and government institutions, secondary schools and the production and construction industries.
The researchers explain their results with regard to the prevalence in hairdressing salons and Co. as follows: “These services usually take place indoors, where people can spend longer periods of time and come into close contact.” The groups are small, the ones there reported cases were often related. Interestingly, the hairdressing salons in Germany were also reopened in the spring due to public pressure – including when they were informed that, according to previous knowledge, they were not a pandemic driver.
Corona risk: Lauterbach finds the British study “very (!) Clever”
It is possible that the results cannot be transferred one-to-one to Germany. But the British study even received praise from Karl Lauterbach. The health expert of the SPD, who has felt every scientific work on the corona crisis and thus has the best possible comparison, tweeted: “Very (!) Clever study on the question of where you were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Idea: The genotype can be used to determine the likelihood of being infected in certain places. Only UK has enough genotype data. Results are interesting. “
The biochemist Ewan Birney, who was involved in the study, spoke of “amazing” results: “We can now look at the possible transmission routes if two or more people have been infected without knowing who they were infected from (or if this one was infected at all Event happened). ”The probability of a transmission can now also be calculated.
Corona risk: The hygiene concepts seem to be taking effect in department stores
The low transmission rates in shops and health and social care facilities could be due to risk reduction measures. Wearing a mask and keeping your distance are mentioned here. However, especially with regard to department stores, the researchers warn that high visitor numbers could also lead to more false associations.
Whatever. At least it cannot be denied that the assumption of the German experts could have been refuted here that an earlier opening of the retail trade would have additionally fueled the pandemic. Perhaps Lauterbach is not the only one who takes this work from Great Britain to heart. (mg)