Mask requirement possible in summer

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Corona’s new infections continue to rise sharply in Austria. Interior and Health Ministry reported on Friday 8933 new cases within 24 hours. Among the newly infected is Interior Minister Gerald Karner himself. He is suffering from “flu-like symptoms,” according to his spokesman.

Last Friday, 4941 new cases had been registered, almost half as many. And the current figures are unlikely to reflect the extent of the entire wave in times of reduced testing. As ” Kurier reports,” data on the viral load of samples from 108 sewage treatment plants show that the actual number of infections is at least one and a half times higher. “The wave is bigger than the numbers convey,” reported microbiologist Heribert Insam of the University of Innsbruck. He is the project manager of the Sars-CoV-2 School Site Monitoring Austria. According to the expert, the load of viral RNA in the wastewater is clearly in the delta wave range in the fall.

At that time, a lockdown was first declared for the unvaccinated, soon followed by one for everyone. With delta, however, the intermediate courses of disease are more severe, and the currently dominant omicron subvariants BA.4/BA.5 are again more infectious.

Health Minister Johannes Rauch defended the abolition of compulsory vaccination and the widespread lack of Corona protection measures despite rising infection figures. In the third year of the pandemic, he said, it is not possible to remain in a state of permanent crisis. At the same time, he did not rule out the possibility of a return of the primarily eliminated masking rules as early as this summer because of the rising numbers. “That’s what I’ve always said: if we approach a situation that goes in the direction of overloading the health system, then, of course, I’m obliged to react,” Rauch told ORF radio on the question of reintroducing mandatory masks in the public sector. His ministry reassesses the situation every week, he said.

The rising infection figures are having a delayed effect in the hospitals. There were 662 infected people in the hospital on Friday, up by 139 from a week earlier. Forty-two people with covid were cared for in intensive care units Friday, one fewer than Thursday. Eight deaths have been recorded since Thursday, and there have been 36 Covid-19-related deaths in the past week.

  • source: diepresse.at/picture: pixabay.com
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