Austrian Health Minister Johannes Rauch explains when masks must return

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When the situation becomes more difficult again in the fall, the mask obligation would have to be reintroduced in Austria, Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) said. However, while the infection figures have again skyrocketed massively and the hospital exposure figures are also rising significantly, the minister is still hesitant.

On Tuesday, not only 13,416 new infections were reported, but also already 1863 people who need to be treated in hospitals. The covid autumn wave has thus started significantly earlier than in previous years. Globally, Austria is already in third place with its current development despite a reduced considerably testing strategy in the country.

While healthcare staff in hospitals are already groaning under the growing burden, the Minister of Health is not yet considering tightening the measures. In the interview in the ORF “ZiB 2” on Tuesday, Rauch did not want to commit itself finally yet, when, for instance, the reintroduction of the mask obligation becomes again striking.

Mask only if the situation “escalates. “The currently high numbers in the hospitals are because about half of the patient’s Covid is placed as a secondary diagnosis, justified Rauch. He did not answer at what point the burden could become too much for healthcare staff – but he would observe how the situation develops based on the figures in the ministry.

“The pure numbers are one thing – but the numbers of the hospitals are decisive,” he sealed off. As soon as a point is reached, in which the situation in the hospitals “escalates, becomes threatening,” he wants to return, however already again to a mask obligation in the public area, so smoke.

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