Health Minister Johannes Rauch expects the current increase in new Corona infections to continue.
One will now go “towards 10,000, 15,000 new infections per day”, but this was expected, he said Wednesday. However, he said the government would not impose any new measures this week but would continue to rely on “personal responsibility.” However, if there is a further increase, he said the reintroduction of mandatory masks is possible.
Rauch expects the numbers to rise even further. The 10,000 or 15,000 new infections per day “will not be the peak,” he said at the “doorstep” before the Council of Ministers meeting Wednesday morning. How far up the infection numbers could go in this wave is “open,” he said, not daring to speak.
Rauch relies on personal responsibility.
At the moment, however, no new steps are indicated. “We are not going to impose any new measures today,” Rauch said. “Because the hospital situation is such, we do not see the dramatic change. We continue to rely on the fact that people independently mask day, where it is particularly indicated” – such as indoors.
A comeback of the mask obligation is for the department chief, however, in the range of the possibility – if it should come to a further rise of the infection numbers and the experts of its house make an appropriate recommendation. The obligation was abolished in a “where it was quite possible.” However, he had already said this would be monitored at the time.
After the summer, at any rate, the minister expects the measure to be reintroduced reasonably quickly: “In the fall, we can expect to have the mask back,” he said. “We expect to have more waves – Europe-wide – in the fall and winter as well.”
However, Rauch wants to avoid further drastic measures such as lockdowns. “It will be a matter of getting into a mode of living with the virus after two years of the pandemic, which also means getting out of a crisis mode to some extent.” Still, he said, care must be taken “to protect vulnerably, but at least in a way that makes a living with Covid possible.” The current BA.4/BA.5 variant would allow this from the technical side.
After two years of the pandemic, “collateral damage” has already had to be accepted, such as increased suicide rates. “I’m also concerned with defining health as the absence of covid – but how are the people, the children.” Therefore, he said, management will be pursued “focusing first and foremost on self-responsibility, on personal responsibility.”
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For the fall, Rauch expects the BA.4/BA.5 variants to remain dominant, “which is more manageable.” Although not “everything will be easy,” a highly contagious variant is not on the horizon. One will possibly act with mask obligation and other settings. “But not with lockdowns and exit restrictions – I don’t see those now.” However, during the pandemic, it was learned not to exclude anything, he pointed out at the same time.
The minister continues to rely on vaccination: “We’re preparing to get as many people as possible to get a booster shot, at least in August, September.” The “good news” is that this will build up good protection against the severe disease within a week, Rauch said. A corresponding vaccination campaign is planned at workplaces, employee associations, doctors’ offices, health care facilities, and “into communities and clubs,” he said.
- source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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