LOCKDOWN FOR ALL? Omicron situation “serious”: the Covid Crisis Coordination Committee has to take action

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Members of the federal government, state governors and the experts of the all-state Covid crisis coordination GECKO will meet again this week to evaluate measures taken so far on the one hand, and to discuss possible tightening measures due to the rapidly spreading virus mutation Omicron on the other.

The corona situation in Austria “remains serious, ” according to GECKO. All efforts must continue to aim at keeping case numbers as low as possible, they say.

With the strict package of measures currently in place, including mandatory FFP2 masks and a lockdown for the unvaccinated (which is difficult to control effectively), incidence rates in the country would increase only “moderately” for the time being. However, experts believe that this is also necessary to buy time.

Lockdown for all coming again?
Even a lockdown for all is being talked about, but has not been confirmed on either side, although experts such as molecular biologist Ulrich Elling, most recently, have criticized politicians for reacting “far too slowly again”: “With the momentum Omicron is unleashing, we need to put the brakes on more than ever before it’s too late.” If Omicron is allowed to go through, “cots will have to be set up in the exhibition center to take care of everyone who is sick in parallel,” Elling is quoted as saying in the “Kurier.”

SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner had earlier called for immediate government consultations with the GECKO commission to decide on measures to prevent another lockdown: “A new wave is coming. After the Christmas vacations, when schools reopen, we can expect five-digit infection numbers. Yet the federal government seems to be sleeping through this wave over the holidays.”

Rendi-Wagner: “Immediate switch to home office”
Rendi-Wagner calls for an immediate switch to home offices and a strong offensive on booster vaccination and, as reported, a vaccination premium.

Meanwhile, a new scientific study by researchers from Japan and the U.S. found that Omicron appears to attack the lungs less frequently. It has now “specialized” in the upper respiratory tract, such as the nose, throat and bronchi, the scientists said. However, the long-term effects remain unclear.

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