Researchers have checked and concluded the effectiveness of the common protective measures against corona in Austria.
Masking, ventilation, keeping your distance makes sense. Conversely, the project’s interim results identified a particularly high risk of infection in loud-talking and poorly ventilated rooms. Covid-19 simulator, an aerosol and computer-based removal tool from Austrian PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), explores the effectiveness of protective measures in public places. An interdisciplinary research team calculated, among other things, the risk of infection in a real Samaritan Society classroom in various situations. The first results are: In all scenarios where measures were taken – wearing a mask, regular ventilation and keeping your distance – the risk of infection was significantly reduced.
The risk depends on the particular situation
The risk depends on the particular situation, it was emphasized: “Talking loudly in open areas can lead to infections at distances of over two meters,” the researchers said. If there is poor ventilation in open and loud talk areas (eg in a call center), the likelihood of asymptomatic people infecting others is very high – even if they sit up to seven meters away from the infected person. Partition walls are hardly effective in this case.
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In well-ventilated rooms and when working quietly in some sanctuaries, masks would have no significant influence on the infection process. However, the request to lower someone’s voice or speak loudly in a separate ventilation room could “reduce the likelihood of at least one other person being infected to less than one percent”.
The simulations would also provide recommendations for recreational facilities such as stadia or ski areas, said Gerald Dipplinger, project manager and partner at PwC Austria. “It is not the quantity of connections that are essential, but the quality of them. Although those situations are particularly critical where air cannot circulate and no distance can be maintained, the risk of infection in ski lifts should be considerable lower, “he said.
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Simulator is based on crowd simulations
The Covid-19 simulator funded by the City of Vienna as part of the Innovate4Vienna project is based on crowd simulations. After creating a virtual room, the model is filled with animated actors, parameters that are as realistic as possible and the measures to be tested. Emphasis was placed on moving, the randomness of human behavior and the effect of different interior designs, to mathematical models only. In collaboration with the Samariterbund and AIT Technology Experience Center, the computer model is under continuous development.
The central core of the research is the extent to which detailed imaging of the risk of infection affects the behavior of those affected by the measures. A study accepted by the AIT technology partner of the Austrian Institute of Technology should provide information on whether the understanding of protective measures increases after interaction with the computer model.
“As long as there is still no nationwide vaccine in Austria, we must continue to identify individually tailored protective measures effectively. This applies to companies and public institutions and facilities. The only way we can carry out operations in times of the pandemic while at the same time prevent another lockdown, “Dipplinger said.