News From Austria
- In view of high infection figures despite the lockdown and the continuing spread of different virus variants, concern is growing about a new major pandemic wave.
- In Germany in particular, this possibility has been discussed for some time. In Austria, too, experts warn that a new surge is only a matter of time.
- In recent days and weeks, concern has spread throughout Europe that a major new wave of infection is building up unnoticed.
- The different virus variants pose major obstacles to global planning in the fight against the pandemic.
- In Austria, two mutations have been confirmed so far: B.1.1.7, which first appeared in Great Britain, and B.1.351, first discovered in South Africa and now mainly present in Tyrol.
- The variant B.1.1.28, which first took hold in Brazil, has not yet been discovered in Austria.
- What all three have in common is that they are more infectious than the wild type and can thus spread more rapidly.
- In addition, in the case of B.1.351, there is a strong presumption that the vaccines used to date are less effective.
- Whether the race against the virus variants can be won at all is doubted by quite a few experts.
- Gerald Gartlehner, epidemiologist at Danube University Krems and a member of the Traffic Light Commission, told ORF’s “Report” on Tuesday that Austria has already wasted a lot of time.
- He expects a third wave in Austria in March, Gartlehner told ORF.at. “I think in March we should prepare for it, if the assumptions of the models are correct.”
- But in these models, he said, the “South African” variant has not yet been factored in at all, so they only refer to the “British” one.
- The current relaxation in Austria is a “game with fire,” Gartlehner told APA last week.
- SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner also criticized the opening steps in light of the mutations and a possible third wave.
- Austrian ministries reported 1,577 new infections in the last 24 hours.
- The 7-day-incidence dropped to 100 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
|Active cases||Hospitalized||In intensive care (ICU)||Deaths|
|Daily Tests*||Recovered||Tested Positive|
|Vaccine Jabs Given|
|Percentage of population||4.05%|
Source: Austrian Ministry of Health, February 11, 2021.
- “Trouble’s brewing” at the Vienna AKH (General Hospital).
- In an online petition addressed to the hospital management, nursing staff are protesting against the fact that only the vaccine from AstraZeneca is currently being vaccinated.
- The originally intended product from Biontech and Pfizer is no longer being offered.
- Parts of the medical profession are also rebelling.
- In total, just under eleven million tests have been conducted in Austria since the start of the pandemic, the Chancellor’s Office said. The trend continues to rise sharply.
- The sharp increase is due to the fact that the proof of a negative test since the beginning of the week is a prerequisite, for example, for visiting hairdressers.
- The demand ensured that the drive-in at the Austria Center in Vienna was already fully booked on Saturday up to and including Monday.
- Monday was also the peak testing day throughout Austria: 310,611 antigen and PCR tests were reported to the SKKM crisis team (State Crisis and Disaster Management).
- On Friday, the figure was still far lower at 87,206.
- Soon more than 1,000 free testing facilities will be available throughout Austria. Currently, around 490 permanent testing stations and almost 700 pharmacies are involved.
- Around 260,000 student self-tests were conducted on the first day of school. Approximately 2.2 million tests are expected to be completed there every week.
- As of Monday, the company tests will also be subsidized by the federal government to the price of 10 euros each; 493 companies with 254,108 employees are already registered.
- Vienna is further increasing its CoV test capacities.
- 2 new test lanes go into operation:
- as of today, people can already get tested at the Ferry Dusika Stadium.
- From Saturday, this will also be possible in the Therme Oberlaa parking garage.
- Police broke up a CoV party with 20 people in an Innsbruck student dormitory during the night.
- The young people claimed not to know about coronavirus restrictions such as mandatory masks and distances. All of them were reported to the police
News From Elsewhere
- Ireland today placed Austria on a red list with tightened entry restrictions. Reuters cites coronavirus mutations detected in Austria as the background.
- In the future, people entering Ireland from Austria will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine. Testing oneself free is not possible.
- Until now, the stricter entry rules applied only to South Africa and Brazil.
- Now Austria, the United Arab Emirates and sub-Saharan African countries have been added to the list of countries where variants of the coronavirus occur.
- Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has acknowledged mistakes in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, while defending the lockdown extension agreed the previous day.
- In response to signs of the second wave and warnings from various scientists, she said, “we did not shut down public life again early and consistently enough.”
- In her government statement, Merkel called the extensive extension of drastic measures against the pandemic “appropriate, necessary and proportionate.”
- Merkel and the prime ministers of Germany’s states had decided the previous day that the lockdown would be extended until March 7.
- Due to high infection rates, the Czech Republic has isolated 3 border districts from the outside world.
- Those who live there are no longer allowed to leave the respective district, Health Minister Jan Blatny said today in Prague.
- People from outside would not be allowed in. The districts affected are Cheb, Sokolov and Trutnov.
- In these districts, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants is 3 to 4 times higher than in other parts of the country.
- The measures were to take effect tomorrow night.
Go to the next page for news from February 10.