Infectiologist Weiss: Contagion as a chance for normality

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The Innsbruck infectiologist and director of the University Clinic for Internal Medicine, Günter Weiss, sees a contagion in progress due to the current Omicron wave, which “cannot be stopped”. In an interview with the APA, Weiss said that a “targeted contagion with the handbrake on”, i.e. with the observance of efficient preventive measures, would offer a real chance of a longed-for return to normality.

This scenario is currently playing out throughout Europe, Weiss said. The contamination with the Omicron variant is a “dynamic process that is going on now” and will probably peak in about two weeks and then level off again. This process can no longer be influenced to any great extent.

Therefore, lockdown measures would also be of no use, which he does not consider sensible or effective at this stage: “The Omicron train is on track. And it will speed through with or without lockdown,” says the physician, who is also a member of the advisory board in the Ministry of Health.

He said that because of the contagion, combined with the vaccination, we will have “high immunity in the population” and hopefully, or probably, manage to “get out of the pandemic” and have a “normal summer.” “And with that, hopefully we will move from a pandemic situation to an epidemiological situation where we will be facing the virus again in the cold season,” Weiss said, seeing a scenario similar to other viruses that people have also learned to live with.

With this “contagion with the handbrake on”, however, it is also important to ensure that “not too many cases occur at once, so that a problem with medical care does not arise”. In order to achieve this, the specified hygiene measures must be adhered to, Weiss said.

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