The fourth wave of infections in Austria started even much earlier than the second one last fall. With an average of 1,600 new infections daily, the seven-day incidence is currently at the level of mid-October 2020. The number of patients in intensive care units is also comparable. Those affected are predominantly the unvaccinated. The government is likely to focus its measures on them.
This year, the number of new infections has already risen noticeably in July and August. Last year, the seven-day incidence of 130 reported by AGES – corresponding to a good 1,600 new infections per day – was not reached until October 21. At that time, the number of intensive care patients was 145; the current figure is 171, despite the fact that vaccination is basically available, because according to reports from the provinces, the majority of intensive care patients have been revaccinated.
The increase in corona-related deaths in the fourth wave is lower than in the previous year. While an average of eight people died daily after corona infection in the first three weeks of October 2021, about three died per day in the last three weeks.
The age group most affected by new infections – relative to the population – was adolescents and young adults between 15 and 24 last fall as well as this year. However, the incidence at the start of school last year was much lower (62) than this year (254). Among younger children between five and 14 years of age, the seven-day incidence at the start of school in eastern Austria on September 7, 2020 was 22 – this year it was 210 new infections per 100,000 children in this age group.
Ex-health minister Rudolf Anschober also warned on Tuesday against a development like that of the previous October. He therefore pleaded via Twitter, among other things, for a mandatory mask indoors as well as for a vaccination campaign, for measures against the spread of infection among non-vaccinated people and for protective measures for children.
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