To get below the 3,000 mark is “good and should give us motivation,” said the head of department. However, only around 15,000 tests were registered, significantly fewer than the November average, where almost 30,000 tests per day were recorded.
Fortunately, the number of recoveries was significantly higher than the number of new infections: According to Anschober, it was 4,694 within 24 hours. However, 79 deaths have also been added since Sunday. In hospitals, the number of Covid 19 patients increased by 89, in intensive care units by ten to a total of 701 seriously ill patients.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, there have been a total of 282,456 infections with SARS-CoV-2 and 3,184 deaths in connection with it since the start of the pandemic in Austria. According to this information, the number of people recovered rose to a total of 221,692. On Monday, 3,639 normal beds in hospitals across Austria were occupied with corona patients.
New infections by federal state: Burgenland (107), Carinthia (180), Lower Austria (619), Upper Austria (521), Salzburg (232), Styria (343), Tyrol (268), Vorarlberg (112), Vienna (366).
The opening steps after the lockdown, which was decided by next Sunday, are still open. Health Minister Anschober did not want to comment on details of the possible easing. Like the Ministry of Education, he referred to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday at APA’s request. Before any decisions are made, the government wants to wait for the development of the number of infections and in the hospitals.
Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) already indicated in an interview at the weekend that postponing the first easing steps by a few days cannot be completely ruled out. The aim is to take “careful opening steps” in shops and schools from December 7th. But this depends on the number of infections. The higher these are, “the more difficult it will be to take opening steps,” Kurz had explained. And further: “We will have to live with further massive restrictions after December 7th.”
In any case, it is clear that in a first step only schools and retailers should reopen, but here too, safety regulations must be expected. It is assumed that, as in the spring, only a certain number of customers are allowed in shops, depending on their size.
Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) has already made it clear that the schools will not be in normal operation immediately after they open. Faßmann most recently pleaded for all schools to be opened on December 7th, but at the same time announced that school operations would initially be different – for example, with mask compulsory also in lessons, school-autonomous possibility of shift work, staggered start and end of school or to switch to others Building. The most recent discussion was an extension of distance learning for the upper levels or their general switch to shift work.
Meanwhile, the heads of the nine public hospital operators warned in a letter to Health Minister Anschober that the opening would be too rapid. After the lockdown ended on December 6, measures should be taken to “reduce the incidence of infections and keep them at a low level,” reported the “Kleine Zeitung” beforehand.
The letter bears the signature of the heads of the nine public hospital operators, including Krages (Burgenland), Kabeg (Carinthia), the Upper Austrian health holding company, Salk (Salzburg), Kages (Styria), Tirol Kliniken, the Vorarlberg hospital operating company, the Vienna Health Association and the Lower Austrian regional clinics Holding. The letter has not yet arrived at the Anschober office, according to reports it should be sent by Tuesday at the latest.
The second wave has “pushed public hospitals to the limit of their capabilities,” the letter said. Thanks to the “outstanding willingness to perform and the personal commitment of the employees”, the “high treatment effort” could be made for the patients.
The representatives of the nine hospital associations expressly welcome the lockdown. “The first noticeable effects” can already be seen, but a “clear and sustainable reduction in the number of infections and thus the hospitalization rate is urgent to relieve our staff. Low numbers are essential for a” gradual start and guarantee of normal operation. ”