CoV on Jan. 24-31 | Federal Government to Decide Next Steps Tomorrow

The coronavirus is shaping our lives. Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Austria this week – updated regularly.

January 28

News From Austria

  • According to current data, 195,886 people in Austria have received their 1 coronavirus vaccine jab. Of those, 5,126 have already received both vaccine jabs.
    • The infrastructure for nationwide registration in the electronic vaccination certificate is still under construction – 159,000 vaccinations were so far registered there.
    • The registration rate is currently around 80%.
    • In addition, the homepage stated that 195,886 vaccine doses had been delivered to date. Statistically, every eight seconds one person in Austria is vaccinated.
  • Vaccine delivery difficulties at AstraZeneca, and temporarily also at Biontech and Pfizer, are further disrupting Vienna’s vaccination schedule.
    • The city therefore asked other federal states for help, without success.
    • It is also currently unclear when the manufacturer Moderna actually delivers.
    • In calendar week 7 there could be another reduction at Biontech, feared City Councillor for Health, Peter Hacker (SPÖ).
    • He said: “We are really moving into a dramatic form of shortage management there”.
    • On the spread of the British viral mutation, Hacker said they were at “14, 15, possibly 18%.”
    • In Vienna, nearly 38,000 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 at least once so far, according to information from the Health Ministry.
    • That is just under 2% of people with their main residence in Vienna.
  • Due to a significant increase in the number of coronavirus infections, Japan will no longer be exempt from the entry restrictions introduced at the beginning of the pandemic.
    • The EU ambassadors of the 27 member states agreed on this yesterday in Brussels. The decision still has to be officially confirmed by the capitals in a written procedure.
    • This leaves  6 countries in the world from which citizens may enter the EU normally:
      • Australia
      • New Zealand
      • Rwanda
      • Singapore
      • South Korea
      • Thailand
    • All EU countries except Ireland and non-EU countries Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland had already agreed on this at the beginning of the pandemic in March.
  • The new British CoV mutation B.1.1.7 has now also been confirmed in Viennese wastewater. However, it is not yet clear how widespread the even more contagious variant is in the city.
    • The wastewater sample comes from Viennas main sewage treatment plant.
    • It has also been confirmed that the British variant has appeared in a second nursing home run by Caritas in Vienna. 11 people had tested positive at the facility.
    • Norbert Kreuzinger of the Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management at the Vienna University of Technology (TU) said:”Of all the viruses found, the British variant accounted for 17%.”

News From Elsewhere

  • There is still no solution in sight in the vaccine dispute between AstraZeneca and the European Union. An online crisis meeting on Wednesday evening also failed to produce an agreement.
    • Large quantities of vaccine for EU countries will thus probably be delivered with a significant delay.
  • German vaccine manufacturer Biontech wants to supply the EU with more of its product than actually planned.
    • CFO Sierk Poetting: “We are working to also make up for the reduction in deliveries of ampoules and even deliver more than 100% of the doses in the first quarter.”
    • He said Biontech is doing “everything to supply the EU in the best possible way.”
    • Biontech and its U.S. partner Pfizer are currently supplying less vaccine to the EU than planned because of rebuilding work at a Belgian plant.
    • The total volume of deliveries in the first quarter is still expected to remain the same. He said Biontech is doing “everything to supply the EU in the best possible way.”
  • For the first time since the end of October, the 7-day incidence in Germany is below the threshold of 100, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
    • German health departments reported 17,553 new infections to the RKI within one day. In addition, more than 900 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours.
    • Last Thursday, the RKI had recorded 20,398 new infections and 1,013 new deaths within 24 hours.
    • The peak of 1,244 new deaths reported in one day had been reached on Jan. 14.
    • The highest number of new infections registered within 24 hours, 33,777, was reported on Dec. 18, but this figure included 3,500 subsequent reports.
  • The CoV mutation initially registered in Great Britain has now been detected in 70 countries according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 10 countries more than a week earlier.
    • The WHO also recorded a larger distribution area for the mutant initially detected in South Africa. The number of affected countries rose by 8 to 31 within a week.
    • For the mutation that first appeared in Brazil, the WHO now stated that 8 countries were affected instead of 6.
    • WHO further stated that there is evidence that the 501Y.V2 variant detected in South Africa is less “susceptible to antibody neutralization” than the original variant.
    • Some experts therefore fear that this mutation could lead to more secondary infections with CoV and possibly also have an impact on the effectiveness of CoV vaccines.
    • WHO Europe Director Hans Kluge said: “Infection rates are still too high and health systems are still under strain. It is too early to ease up”, regarding a consideration for easing the fight with CoV.

Go to the next page for news from January 27.

Amina Frassl
Amina is Metropole's online content manager. She writes about news and news analysis and is currently completing her studies in journalism and politics at NYU.

Numbers

For current numbers, check the website of Ministry of Health and the AGES dashboard.

Resources

The City of Vienna has compiled comprehensive information on questions and answers regarding coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease in English.

The Austrian Ministry of Health has put together FAQs on the coronavirus and also provides material to download on how to protect yourself and others from the disease, also in English.

Furthermore, the ministry will constantly update its German-language website with information on the number of people tested and cases of COVID-19 in Austria.

Hotlines

Health advice by telephone1450

If you show symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties) or fear that you are ill, stay at home and dial health number 1450 for further procedures (diagnostic clarification).

Coronavirus hotline AGES+43 0800 555 621

The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) answers questions about the coronavirus (general information on transmission, symptoms, prevention) 24 hours a day at +43 0800 555 621.

VKI hotline for travel law questions+43 0800 201 211

For legal questions concerning trips that have already been booked (e.g. whether a trip can be cancelled free of charge), the experts of the Association for Consumer Information (VKI) provide advice free of charge from Monday to Sunday between 09:00 and 15:00 at +43 0800 201 211.