Corona pandemic: Why the incidence in Bavaria is so high

Status: 25.10.2021 6:23 p.m.

In addition to Thuringia and Saxony, Bavaria is also one of the federal states with the highest corona incidences. In addition, the vaccination rate is below average. What’s going on in Söder’s “Team Caution”?

The nationwide corona incidence is currently increasing continuously. It is currently 110.1. In comparison to the five districts with the highest incidences in Bavaria, that doesn’t seem much: Mühldorf am Inn has 522.8, Traunstein 489.1, Berchtesgadener Land 480.6, Straubing-Bogen 457.0 and Miesbach at 434.2. You lead the table. All five are in southeast Bavaria. Why are there so many corona infections in this region in particular?

It is noticeable that many of the Bavarian districts with particularly high incidences are located directly on the border with Austria. According to the virologist Ulrike Protzer from the Technical University of Munich, the many corona infections have to do with cross-border commuters, but also with vacationers or weekend tourists. Through them there are “carryovers from neighboring countries, in which there is a higher incidence than ours”. Because of this, the numbers in the German border regions have always been comparatively high. Figures from the Federal Employment Agency also show that, with 46,000 people, most cross-border commuters across Germany who live abroad work in Bavaria.

Warning of the end of the “epidemic situation”

For weeks, the incidence has also been one of the highest in the city of Rosenheim, also in the south-east of Upper Bavaria. With an incidence of 353.8, it is still one of the highest in Germany.

According to the head of the Rosenheim health department, Wolfgang Hierl, one reason for this is the below-average vaccination rate. According to the vaccination reports recorded by the authorities, only about 57 percent of the people there are currently fully vaccinated. The national average is 66.2 percent. Hierl believes that many people in the Rosenheim area overestimate the risks of vaccination and underestimate the risks of the disease.

In his opinion, another reason could be the interest in naturopathy and alternative medicine of part of the population. If this attitude hinders the prevention of infectious diseases, then it could “go in the eye”, says the head of the Rosenheim health department. He warns against ending the “epidemic situation” in Germany now: “Of course, it also suggests that the pandemic has been overcome – and especially with regard to our region, that is not the case at all.”

CSU boss Söder urges caution. The corona numbers in his state are still high.

Image: REUTERS

“We have to be careful”

The Bavarian state government also rejects the attempt by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn to declare the nationwide corona emergency ended. “We have to remain cautious in order to get through the autumn and winter well,” said Prime Minister Markus Söder.

The Bavarian Ministry of Health also sees day trippers and cross-border commuters, but also the below-average vaccination rates in the southeast as factors for the high number of cases. According to a ministry spokesman, “the number of infections in Bavaria can continue to rise”.

The district councilors and mayors of the regions most affected are also expected to attend the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The ministry points out that, according to the ordinance, the districts should take additional protective measures in the event of a high outbreak.

No more contact restrictions in Bavaria

And even if Prime Minister Söder continues to present himself as the front man in the “Team Caution”: Bavaria, like other federal states, has recently relaxed its corona rules. There have been no contact restrictions since the beginning of September. With 3G proof there is access to restaurants and theaters, among other things. As a justification, the CSU politician had referred to the vaccination quota and that it was “a pandemic of the unvaccinated and younger people”. Especially among the younger ones, there is a chance of milder disease courses.

Bavaria in particular is doing rather badly in the nationwide comparison: The rate of fully vaccinated is below average at 64.1, the incidence is particularly high at 179.1. Only Thuringia and Saxony are still higher. On the map, the districts in the southeast of the country are colored in the darkest red. It is quite possible that Bavaria will take additional measures to reduce the incidence there.