The number of new corona infections remains at a high level: 1202 new cases were reported on Sunday. After British mutations had already been increasingly detected in Austria, seven cases of the South African variant were found in the Zillertal – especially among employees of the ski lifts. For this reason, comprehensive PCR tests in the Schwaz district began at the weekend.
Today the experts will inform the government of the latest findings on the mutations. The governors and the opposition are involved in the talks. At the crisis meeting, no further extension of the lockdown, which is valid until February 7, should be decided, the Chancellery said. However, in other European countries, some drastic worsening of the corona situation can be seen.
- Video: South African virus variant: new cases in Tyrol
Important decisions are also imminent when it comes to vaccinations: The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine on January 29th. The last game was tough: the EMA had signaled that the vaccine could not be approved for all age groups. AstraZeneca announced shortly thereafter that the promised deliveries to the EU could not be kept due to production difficulties. Yesterday, EU Council President Charles Michel called for the treaties to be adhered to and threatened legal action.
Health Minister Rudi Anschober (G) calculated the effects of supply bottlenecks: Instead of 650,000 vaccine doses, Austria would only receive 340,000 from AstraZeneca in February. In March it was planned to administer 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccinations, the effects cannot yet be measured, said Anschober.
Medical Chamber President Thomas Szekeres described the announced bottlenecks at AstraZeneca as a “setback”. The vaccine was intended for use by general practitioners because the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine is more difficult to distribute due to its storage at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Despite logistical difficulties, it is also possible to have this vaccine vaccinated by general practitioners.
Szekeres is also placing hopes in the Covid drug APN01 developed by geneticist Josef Penninger, clinical studies should be available in the coming weeks.
The doctor’s representative broke a lance for top politicians: The y should be immunized as quickly as possible. After the over 80-year-olds, the Federal President, federal and state governments should be vaccinated – for example and for protection. It also makes sense to prefer mayors – but only if they are regularly in nursing homes, said Szekeres.
An additional school year?
The former ombudswoman in the Ministry of Education, Susanne Wiesinger, made the “profile” sit up and take notice: She pleaded for repeating the school year at flashpoint schools, but also at some urban lower-level grammar schools, in order to compensate for the loss of education caused by the pandemic.
The re are currently no corresponding plans in the ministry. Today Education Minister Heinz Famann (VP) will present a 200 million euro funding program: Two additional hours a week should be available, especially for weaker students.
The summer courses are being expanded.
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