Within the framework of the modelling network for infectious diseases, possible scenarios for the further development of the Corona dynamics were simulated. The remarkable difference compared to the usual approaches is that not only one model was evaluated, but simulations of seven different research groups participating in the network were compared and analysed. From ZIB, Tim Conrad, Christof Schütte and Natasa Djurdjevac-Conrad are participating with a model from the MODUS-COVID project, which is being developed in cooperation with the TU Berlin (AG Prof. Nagel). (Further information on the MODUS-COVID project can be found here: https://www.zib.de/projects/mobilitaetsmodelle-berlin)

In the first simulated scenario, it was assumed that no new virus variant would appear in autumn/winter 2022/23. The simulations of all participating models showed in agreement that a wave of infections could be expected in the course of the winter, which would probably not lead to an excessive pressure on hospitals. However, due to many infections, there could be an acute shortage of staff in critical infrastructures. 

In the second scenario, it was assumed that a new virus variant would become dominant in the considered time period, which can partially bypass the established immune protection, but would not have a higher risk of severe courses of disease. This could lead to a severe impact on the health system that is in the order of magnitude of the previous peaks during the Omikron wave in early 2022. 

In the third scenario, it was again assumed that a new virus variant would become dominant that could bypass the existing immune protection. In contrast to the second scenario, however, this hypothetical new variant additionally leads to more severe courses of the disease. In this case, the peak number of hospital admissions reached so far in the course of the pandemic could be significantly exceeded.

The MODUS-COVID project is funded by the BMBF and the Cluster of Excellence Math+. The report of the modelling network can be found here: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7126032