Corona variants continue to spread in Austria

Updated February 26, 2021 at 5:02 p.m.

  • More than every second infection with the coronavirus in Austria can now be traced back to one of the rampant mutations.
  • The Alpine republic is the only country in Europe to have all positive PCR test results checked for any virus variants.

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According to the Ministry of Health, a little more than half of all new infections in Austria can now be traced back to one of the rampant Corona variants. “The mutations, since they are stronger, seem to take hold very quickly,” said Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) on Friday. Austria is the only country in Europe that checks all positive PCR test results for any virus variants. The minister considered a success that the vaccinations in the old people’s and nursing homes were about to be completed. As a result, less severe disease courses are to be feared.

On top of that, Austria sees itself alongside Slovakia as the country in Europe that tests the most. According to Anschober, 223,000 rapid antigen tests and PCR tests were carried out within 24 hours. The number of new infections every day fell to 2093 after a significant increase. The 7-day incidence is around 145 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week. For comparison: In Germany this value is currently around 63.

Also read: All current information about the corona pandemic in our live blog

Openings will be decided on Monday

On Monday, the Austrian government wants to decide whether, after the trade and the body-friendly services, the hotels and restaurants can also reopen in the next few weeks. In this case, negative corona tests would be a prerequisite for visiting the restaurant.

In its most recent report, the Corona Traffic Light Commission, which is also made up of experts from the federal and state governments, recommends that easing steps that have already been implemented be checked and, if necessary, withdrawn from an Austria-wide 7-day incidence of more than 200. “The further closure of educational institutions should only be considered as a last resort,” said the commission.

According to preliminary statistics, the pandemic in Austria has caused mortality to rise significantly. In 2020, 9 percent more people died than in 2019.
© dpa

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