“We are taking risks,” said Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig. This is the motto for the whole country. The high incidence values do not cause top politicians to tighten up.
Vienna (dpa) – Despite a nationwide seven-day incidence of about 240, Austria is initially refraining from taking further steps in the Corona crisis. The previous path of almost unprecedented intensive testing will be expanded, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) said in Vienna.
Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) called the millions of tests an “innovative counter-program” to stop the spread by not tightening it up. In order to estimate the situation, not only the incidence value will be used in the coming months, but also the occupancy rate in intensive care units and the vaccination rate for people over 50, according to consultation with the Premier.
Given the particularly critical situation in intensive care units in the capital Vienna, the states of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland want to discuss their own measures with the Ministry of Health this week. Once a neighborhood reaches a seven-day incidence of 400, regional tailor-made measures must be taken.
The opening of the originally intended outdoor catering is initially off the table, but further opening steps are not excluded. These should be possible after Easter if development in intensive care units remains stable. “The most important thing is the perspective,” said Kurz, given the tremendous pressure, especially on the hospitality and hotel industries. He still assumes that the worst is over in the summer. “We will return to normal in the summer,” said the Austrian government leader.
On Monday, 2,412 new infections were registered in Austria within one day – the highest Monday value since mid-December. There are more and more Covid 19 patients in the clinics and their intensive care units. While the situation in the east of the country has recently come to a head, the situation in states such as Vorarlberg or Tyrol is much more relaxed.
The Austrian test offensive is currently gaining momentum. Recently, a third test run took place in primary schools on Friday within a week. The cabinet announced that this would increase the number of corona tests to nearly four million per week. In total, almost nine million people live in Austria. Approximately 1,500 companies with approximately 730,000 employees also took part in the tests.
The wide range of tests should also be a basis for the so-called Green Pass, which should allow those tested in Austria to have more freedom for a certain period from April.
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