LETTER Dear Austrians, in the holiday theme I tell you …


Dear Austrians,
I would like to give you some more information to decide as objectively as possible whether to come on holiday in Italy and / or to welcome your Italian friends and working counterparts in Austria.
The question you should ask yourself is: what is the probability that the Italian in front of you is infected with Covid-19?
It is true that Italy has had a very high overall number of infections: (per million inhabitants) 3,800 (i.e. 0.38% of the population) against your 1,800 (i.e. 0.18% of the population). For completeness, I add the data of the countries included in the Kurz security “corridor”: Germany: 2,100, Switzerland: 3,500 !, France 2,200. It is also very probable that the number of people who have caught the virus in the various countries is higher than the number of positive test results.

But it is also true that many of the infected have now recovered. So let’s look at another indicator that better reflects the current probability of hitting a positive: the number of new cases out of the total number of swabs made. For example, if we look at the week from 3 to 10 May (for greater data availability): Italy 2.2%, Austria 0.7%, Germany 1.8%, Switzerland 1.5%, France 5.7% (in the week ended May 5). These percentages are falling: on May 20 they were 1.2% for Italy and 1.1% for Austria (oops, slightly up …). And yes, Italy is the country that has adopted the most ironclad lockdown measures, you can see it by the numbers!
In conclusion, it does not seem to me that the differences between the various countries are so marked. Indeed, Germany seems to be closer to Italy than Austria, not to mention France.
If you really want to close the borders to the Italians, then you should also do it with the French, the Spanish, the British and the Americans.
(Data source: Data on COVID-19 by Our World in Data)
PS: a tip to the Italian Regions: maybe doing a little marketing wouldn’t hurt …

Beppe Galata, [email protected]

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