Tyrol, Vienna, Burgenland: The British virus mutation is already making its rounds in Austria. In the ORFreport Health Minister Rudolf Anschober was a guest on Tuesday. With regard to the mutation, Anschober said that all suspected cases must now be clarified.
Speaking of education: Parents, teachers and students also want clarity when it comes to when the class starts again. The plan would have been to resume face-to-face classes from January 18th. The distance learning could now even be extended until the end of the semester break, it was said last. Realistic? “We really have a problem,” replied Anschober. The British variant B.1.1.7 would now spread across Europe. Everything could change within a few days – in a negative sense.
The minister referred to Ireland: This country was the best country in Europe just before Christmas – “and three weeks later it has the record values of all of Europe”. There is also “alarming news” from Slovakia.
You have to “analyze this situation very, very precisely,” emphasized Anschober. Only then will one decide on the path after January 24th, the currently planned end of the lockdown. Anschober: “We may now be facing the most difficult phase in this pandemic in Europe as a whole.” It “would be completely irresponsible” to stick with old plans and not review the situation carefully before making and communicating further decisions.
Vaccination: New dashboard
Anschober also left details on the question of “purest testing” open. “The fact is that we want to pass this law in the National Council on Thursday,” said Anschober. There it is about the question of professional group tests and access tests – for example at events. He had a long phone call with SPÖ party leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner and was confident that a constructive decision would be made on Thursday. Anschober did not want to specify whether access tests should also apply to the catering trade. If the current bill is passed, he could enact it.
With the vaccination there is now “good growth”, said Anschober. He referred to a new dashboard on the Ministry of Social Affairs website. According to the dashboard, 52,925 people in Austria had been vaccinated by 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
In the corona tests in the Tyrolean community of Jochberg (Kitzbühel district), in which 17 suspected cases of the British virus mutation occurred, 100 test results are now available, all of which were negative, according to Anschober. The tests are voluntary and, according to his information, participation is “very, very good,” said the minister.