Austria will become the first country in Western Europe to re-introduce a full lockdown this fall to deal with the new wave of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections, the Austrian government said.
– The lockdown will initially last 10 days, the government may extend this period to a maximum of 20 days, explained the head of the government in Vienna, Alexander Schallenberg. Compulsory vaccinations are to be introduced on February 1.
Schallenberg stressed during the press conference that such measures are necessary because “too many have shown unreliability” – informs the Austrian daily “Kronen Zeitung”.
“This is a sad but necessary consequence of the dramatic increase in the number of infections recently,” said Schallenberg, Health Minister Wolfgang Mueckstein, and Tyrolean government chief Guenther Platter and the mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig, at a joint conference in Pertisau am Achensee in Tirol.
The chancellor stressed that stricter measures taken in early November, such as restricting access to various public places for people who were not vaccinated or had had Covid-19 earlier than six months ago, “increased the willingness to vaccinate, but not enough.”
On Thursday, the number of new infections in 24 hours in Austria hit a record high of 15,145. The seven-day incidence is 989 cases per 100 thousand. people.
Intensive care units for COVID-19 patients in parts of Austria have been on the verge of being fully booked for some time.
In the region of Salzburg and Tyrol, doctors informed that they were preparing to use triadic surgery, i.e. the initial selection of patients according to their condition and admitting those with better prognosis to the ward. “People with low chances of survival will no longer go to the ICU. This will also apply to other patients. The question is who is most likely to survive: (e.g.) a patient with COVID-19 or a patient with a heart attack” – several alarmed days ago Barbara Friesenecker, a doctor at the local intensive care unit.