Armin Fidler, member of the Corona Commission, does not see the Vorarlberg model region in danger despite the increasing number of infections.
“Crown“: Mr. Fidler, the number of those who actively tested positive is currently increasing enormously in Vorarlberg. What are the reasons for that?
Armin Fidler: There is a reason and it lies in the clusters in the Bregenz Forest. There was a family celebration there and a person who went about their work despite the quarantine. The virus has spread accordingly.
Are people now too afraid of the disease?
Nobody should be afraid. Fear is not a good advisor. Instead, I ask for more intellect, because that is exactly what is needed now. But there are always individuals who not only do not adhere to precautionary measures, but also break the quarantine.
Is the model region at risk due to the high incidence rates?
No! To do this, you have to look at the systemic risk. The numbers at the hospitals show that neither normal nor intensive care beds have seen a drastic increase or shortage. The occupancy by Covid-19 patients is only a quarter of what we had in November. In addition, not so many hospital employees are sick, infected or in quarantine for a long time. The vaccination is noticeable there. At the moment only five employees are not operational.
How do you assess the situation in the Bregenzerwald?
The strategy of relying on voluntary tests and exit tests is good, because there are many who commute from the region to the Rhine Valley every day. The other way round, there are also around 1,500 people who travel to the Bregenzerwald. In the Leiblachtal it has been shown that the infection process can be contained and brought under control with these measures.
The Bregenzerwald is bigger – anyone traveling between Sulzberg and Warth doesn’t need a test.
It is true that the region is much larger. It is not just about an eruption like in the Leiblachtal, which also happened in an educational institution. The clusters in the Bregenz Forest are more complex and affect families. How the whole thing will develop cannot be predicted. In any case, in the Leiblachtal the situation was completely defused within ten days.
Is the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreading faster in rural areas?
The fact that everyone knows everyone is sure to make people less cautious in rural areas than in larger cities.
Which churches are you still worried about?
In Rankweil, for example, the numbers are consistently high. The many new infections in smaller companies should now be brought under better control with the newly introduced rapid tests.