Austria will be the first country in Europe to begin a new period of complete lockdown. The news was announced at a press conference on Friday.
The closure includes both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. It initially writes that it will last for ten days, but it can be extended for another ten days BBC.
The vaccination rate is among the lowest in Western Europe.
– Embarrassingly low, says Prime Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
The country already has its own lockdown system for non-vaccinators. The authorities plan to introduce compulsory vaccination by February 1.
On Thursday, more than 15,000 cases of infection were reported for the first time in Austria – a country of about 9 million people.
There are reports from the health services of very serious challenges. Among other things from a crowded hospital in the hard-hit state of Upper Austria.
– We have to put the bodies in the corridors, says an employee of the APA news agency.
She says employees are under tremendous psychological stress that is only getting worse as more and more people die.
No one outside can imagine what that means, she says.
Last week, Europe accounted for more than half of the world’s weekly infection rate. About half of the deaths were recorded there, he writes Sky News.
Sky News says that Europe is once again the epicenter of the epidemic.
Two years after the outbreak of the epidemic, the infection is also spreading to other countries in Europe, the NTB writes.
– If we do not act now, Christmas will be terrible, warns the head of German infection control.
In Germany, which did well during the initial phase of the epidemic, the prevalence is now alarmingly high. Lothar Wheeler, head of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for Public Health (RKI), says the situation in hospitals is dismal.
We have never felt as anxious as now, he said in a webinar this week. It describes how stroke patients and other severely ill patients have to wait two hours in the intensive care unit. Wards are full – preferably for unvaccinated Covid patients.
Our country is now in an emergency situation. Wheeler said anyone who doesn’t realize it is making a huge mistake.
And the German infection control authorities recorded, on Thursday, a record 65,000 cases in one day. On the previous day, the number was 52,000. It can be estimated that about 400 of them will die, according to Wheeler’s predictions.
If dark numbers are taken into account, they can be double or triple. This means that in a few weeks Germany could record more than a thousand deaths related to corona every day.
– It’s too late to do anything. These people are already infected. It’s as if the water has run out of a bucket – you can’t pour it back in again, the head of infection control tells Austrian newspaper Die Welt Värre.
It was a sign of how dire the situation was when a hospital in Freising, Bavaria, recently sent a patient with the virus to Italy. The hospital did not have enough space and he did not succeed in finding other treatment sites within the state borders.
Choose not to get vaccinated
Despite the fact that vaccines against COVID-19 have been available for nearly a year, large segments of the population in many EU countries have chosen not to take the syringe.
Experts describe vaccines as the only way out of the crisis.
In many Eastern European countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria, the situation has already developed in a negative direction for several weeks. This is largely due to the fact that few of them have been vaccinated.
In Hungary, a third dose of the vaccine has become mandatory for health workers, and residents must once again wear bandages in most public places indoors.
Troubles in France
The developments in Austria caused unrest in France, where several hundred people demonstrated in front of the Austrian embassy on Thursday, according to Sky News.
President Emmanuel Macron said that there will be no closure for people who are not immunized, noting that Corona’s testimony worked to reduce infection.
In France, documentation is required that you have received the vaccination or can indicate a negative coronary heart examination to be able to go to restaurants, cafes and cinemas, as well as to travel by train over long distances.
The best in southern Europe
However, in the countries of southern Europe, which were hardest hit in the initial phase of the epidemic, they are looking brighter.
Italy, which has a population of about 60 million, reported on Wednesday more than 10,000 new infections for the first time since May.
Thus the prevalence increases, but the infection remains relatively low.
The health authorities have made clear the positive attitude that the vaccine share is among the highest in the European Union. This, in turn, provided an opportunity to present the Corona certificate earlier this year.
The certificate shows whether the person has been vaccinated, previously infected, or can submit a negative test. Certification is not only required to access a number of events, but is also used in practical life.
Stricter entry rules after European holidays
Justice Minister Emily Inger Mehl reminds of the dire consequences for those who don’t follow entry rules, but they won’t ask people to skip holidays in Europe.
Should people go on vacation in Europe, as is the case with the contagion now? asked the NTB at Friday’s coronation press conference.
We are now introducing stricter measures at borders in order to better control who travels in and out, and for people to follow the rules that will apply to testing, quarantine and entry. At the same time, that means we can loosen up a little bit about which countries you can enter, and go back to the usual rules that apply in immigration law, Mehl replied to NTB.
– But we are totally dependent on people taking responsibility for themselves and who they travel with, and following the advice. They should also be aware that they may be checked by the police. The consequences of not following the advice could be expulsion or, for Norwegians, reporting and fines. She added that this is dangerous.
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