Coronavirus – Ostgipfel advises measures for Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland


In the run-up to this “Eastern Summit” with Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens), however, there were no signs of any major tightening – despite the sometimes very tense situation in the hospitals.

From 7.30 p.m., Anschober welcomes Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig and Burgenland’s governor Hans Peter Doskozil (both SPÖ) as well as Lower Austria’s governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner to his ministry. Because in Vienna (7-day incidence on Monday according to AGES 321.9), Lower Austria (271.7) and Burgenland (256.1), the situation is particularly tense due to the strong spread of the more dangerous B.1.1.7 variant.

In individual districts, the incidence is even well above the 400 threshold, from which, according to the high incidence regulation, Schubers must submit negative corona tests for leaving districts or regional hotspots.

A sharp regional lockdown was not to be expected in the run-up to the talks. Soft measures such as an expansion of the (gargle) tests and an increased FFP2 mask requirement (e.g. also for kindergarten teachers and younger pupils or in company social rooms) are being considered. There are also likely to be faster quarantine reactions to positive test results in schools. After a positive case, the whole class could be sent to quarantine (currently only for two or more cases). Cross-border commuters must expect tightening of the validity of the tests to be submitted. There should also be appeals for better participation in contact tracing.

There will probably be no suspension of trade, a return to distance learning or stricter contact rules, at least over Easter. This became clear with the statements of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and state governors on the Monday after the big summit. Lower Austria’s governor, Mikl-Leitner, once again emphasized this stance on Tuesday: “Domestic trade must remain open. Additional restrictions do not help us in combating pandemics because there (in trade, note) there is practically no further spread.”

Lower Austria’s state health councilor Ulrike Königsberger-Ludwig (SPÖ) also spoke out against sharper cuts: “The best measure does not help if we only have it on paper,” she said, adding that citizens are less willing to curb the pandemic to restrict.

Vienna’s Mayor Ludwig did not want to anticipate the talks on Tuesday, but he said that things would be tightened. But he doesn’t think much of exit tests for three federal states: “I can’t imagine sealing off the entire eastern region.” He also spoke out in favor of uniform rules within the eastern region. In any case, the measures must ensure that the hospital’s capacities are not exceeded, especially in the intensive care units.

Burgenland Governor Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) is hoping for a compromise, but at the same time criticized the course of the deliberations on Monday. There you were confronted with things that you could not discuss beforehand. He therefore called for a new summit on Tuesday. “I cannot answer for casually agreeing to a coffee talk,” he emphasized. Doskozil also campaigned for a “controlled opening” again. There are areas where you have already seen that there are no problems – such as the thermal baths. It is also important to take the population with you. “You can only do that if you use common sense,” said Doskozil.

Anschober would – as he showed after the great summit – consider a more decisive action against the inflow to the intensive care units to be absolutely necessary. But as health minister you are sometimes “alone in the corridor”, he announced in the “ZiB2” on Monday evening. He hopes to use a “toolbox” to move countries or regions that are particularly affected to act. It was unclear in the afternoon whether a result could be announced after the summit.

The situation in Vienna’s hospitals is becoming increasingly serious: “Our resources are noticeably running out,” said a spokeswoman for the Vienna Health Association on Tuesday. The number of corona patients who need intensive medical care climbed to a new high of 168 on Tuesday – three more than on Monday and more than ever before. “There are still small buffers. But we see that it is increasing every day.” In the Floridsdorf Clinic, in the General Hospital and in the Hietzing Hospital, the intensive care area was already full. Across Austria, 636 people are being treated in the hospital for Covid 19 disease.

On Tuesday afternoon, there were four districts in Lower Austria with a seven-day incidence above the significant limit of 400. The front runner in Lower Austria was Neunkirchen with a value of 484.1. In absolute numbers, the district had 418 infected people with a population of 86,380. The Scheibbs district jumped over the 400 mark for the first time with a value of 408.1, which corresponds to 169 infected people with 41,460 residents. Wiener Neustadt – Stadt with 460.5, where exit controls have been taking place since March 13, and Wiener Neustadt – Land with 420.1 were consistently above 400. The critical 400 was getting closer and closer to Baden with 366.6 – with 538 infected, this was also the most severely affected district in Lower Austria in absolute numbers.

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Coronavirus Ostgipfel advises measures Vienna Austria Burgenland


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