Ahead of Future Waves of Covid-19: A Regional Perspective on Health Risks and Healthcare Resources in Germany and Poland

Drawing on the most fundamental conclusions from the early research on the Covid-19 pandemic, in this policy paper we examine the regional prevalence of a number of risk factors related to severe consequences of Covid-19. Using the examples of Germany and Poland, two neighbouring countries which have generally dealt relatively well with the outbreak in recent months, we show that there is significant regional variation both in the distribution of health status and healthcare resources. Highly differentiated demographic and epidemiological risks related to the pandemic between as well as within Germany and Poland call for a decentralised evaluation of risks and point out the need to consider an application of regionally focused policy reactions such as lockdowns and social distancing regulations. The cross-country regional perspective adds a valuable angle to the analysis of challenges raised by the Covid-19 pandemic and should urgently be considered regarding any possible consequences of future outbreaks of the virus.