“Otherwise it will not work out”, said Rainer Thell, senior physician in the emergency department at the Donaustadt clinic, about a lockdown for everyone, including those who have been vaccinated and unvaccinated, throughout Austria. “It cannot be that people die in Salzburg, that no courageous decisions are made that are obvious,” he criticized. He cannot accept that dying be allowed, Thell said. “If we are not in solidarity now, then when?”
“However, anyone who believes that only Salzburg and Upper Austria are badly affected are wrong,” he continued. Now you can relieve Salzburg and fly patients to Vienna and Lower Austria, where there are still beds for Covid 19 patients. But: “The wave will continue. The Christmas business and the winter season are in great danger if we don’t hit the brakes now, ”said Thell.
Even for the microbiologist Michael Wagner from the University of Vienna, it is “difficult to imagine” that the currently very high number of infections can actually be slowed down with the current measures, including unvaccinated lockdowns. Without a “short, hard lockdown to bring the numbers down massively”, it will probably not work, he told the APA. The schools could only keep them open with a “really stringent protection concept”.
Salzburg’s greens for tough lockdown
The call for a hard lockdown also came from Salzburg itself, the state with the currently highest 7-day incidence (1,595.1). He was for a short but tough two-week lockdown, said Deputy Governor Heinrich Schellhorn (Greens) on Wednesday in the Ö1 morning journal. All scientists would recommend this, said Schellhorn. For this measure, however, it still needs conviction in the Salzburg provincial government, where they are apparently “following the ÖVP line” – he, Schellhorn, thinks that is wrong, given the drama in Salzburg.
If you don’t start the lockdown now, there is a threat of Christmas at a “very inopportune time”. He sees the responsibility for the low vaccination rate in the population also with the limited mayors. It would have been their job to promote the vaccination and clearly contradict the opponents. One was just too careless with the vaccine skeptics. The opposition in Salzburg criticized the disagreement in the state government – more on this in salzburg.ORF.at.
Salzburg’s governor Wilfried Haslauer (ÖVP) said on Tuesday that he wanted to avoid a lockdown for his state – as long as it was possible. He presented a five-step plan of action. Among other things, this provides for the treatment of Covid 19 patients at home instead of in hospital. He hopes that the pandemic will experience a “kink” due to the measures taken and that this will relieve the hospitals. Haslauer freely admitted that results will probably only be seen in two to four weeks.
Government insists on unity
Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) and Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens), when asked about further CoV measures after the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, said they were in constant contact with the state governors. It is understandable that there are different opinions, according to Köstinger, but the lockdown for unvaccinated people is already a far-reaching measure that will help, especially in the winter season.
A pandemic is difficult to assess, Köstinger continues, the first lockdown still worked, the second towards the end no longer when people could no longer adhere to the contact restrictions. She referred to the FPÖ, without naming it, which, among other things, spreads falsehoods about vaccination and unsettles the population. You can and must trust science.
Compulsory vaccination is being checked
When asked about a general compulsory vaccination, Zadic said that this would be checked by Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens). Mückstein is talking “very closely” with lawyers. This is a measure that is being discussed, said Köstinger. ÖVP Education Minister Heinz Faßmann showed sympathy for steps in this direction on the sidelines of the government meeting on Wednesday. There was no comment from the ministry.
Zadic emphasized several times that there would be further internal discussions, the results of which would also be communicated jointly. The situation is serious, like Köstinger, she called for vaccinations. “We act together as a government.” Köstinger referred to the governor’s conference on Friday in Tyrol, there will be further discussions, the governors could have an important say. Mückstein was “very intensely involved,” it said.
Rich for nighttime lockdown for everyone
The top health officer in the Ministry of Health, Katharina Reich, pleaded on Tuesday in the “Report” for exit restrictions at night, including for vaccinated people. “The situation is clearly different, and therefore my request is: We have to arrive in a crisis mode now.” It is not a pandemic for the unvaccinated, “we have reached a stage where it affects us all”. A “small circumcision” of the vaccinated will also be necessary. “But I know that politically it is not easy.”
Health Minister Mückstein had suggested such a nightly lockdown for vaccinated people last on Sunday. However, Federal Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) rejected this immediately and strictly. Mückstein announced a reassessment of the situation for Wednesday – ten days after the 2-G rule came into effect on Monday a week ago.
Rich for the CoV situation
The General Director for Public Health, Katharina Reich, on the current CoV situation and the necessary measures.
“Halve contacts” as a rough rule
As a “rough rule”, Reich suggested “practically only half” of all social contacts. “I believe that rules are always easy to understand, and we probably have too little with one request in this current situation,” she pleaded for further requirements.
When asked whether the state of alarm in the country was too low, she referred to the dramatically worsening situation in some federal states: “Salzburg really has ‘land under’ – here we are openly discussing triage, here we are openly discussing where we are putting it next rescue. That is why I am in favor of an emergency brake: shut down everything that is not necessary, put ourselves in a certain mode that corresponds to the situation out there ”- in a“ crisis mode ”.
When asked whether there should be a general lockdown for everyone, including times of day in particularly badly affected regions, Reich said: “We know that the lockdown is the toughest measure. But it is also – if it is a really good lockdown – a good measure. It is well considered and will not come easily to any governor. “
Ludwig: “Can’t rule anything out at the moment”
The mayor of Vienna, Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), also showed sympathy for Reich’s proposals in the “Report”: “Yes, I give Dr. Reich quite right ”, there is a“ very serious situation, the numbers are increasing across Austria in all federal states ”.
Although Ludwig referred to the better situation in the federal capital than in the other federal states, there is also an “increasing dynamic” in the incidence. When asked specifically about curfews for people who have been vaccinated, Ludwig said: “In the current situation, nothing can be ruled out. The numbers are increasing dynamically, at a pace that we have not yet experienced in the entire corona pandemic. ”- more on this in wien.ORF.at.
Ludwig: Further measures this week
Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) has announced an FFP2 mask requirement for Vienna indoors, 2-G Plus in night catering and for events over 25 people and home office in the private sector. In addition, Vienna preferred to vaccinate the third dose and started vaccinating children. Ludwig does not want to completely rule out a lockdown for vaccinated people, but would like a nationwide solution.
When asked whether he understands that individual federal states are not imposing a general lockdown despite the dramatic situation, Ludwig said he did not presume to assess the situation in other countries. Should the federal government decide a lockdown for the whole of Austria, “everyone will have to support it,” he emphasized.
But he does not want to say anything to “his colleagues, the governors” through the media. And it is also a crisis for the vaccinated, Ludwig pointed out that, for example, intensive care beds for patients apart from CoV could become scarce because of the many Covid 19 patients. “The announcement that the pandemic was over, the pandemic was over for the vaccinated, that was always wrong,” he referred to the line propagated by the ÖVP in the summer and into the autumn.
Stelzer: Trust experts
In Upper Austria, too, the situation is still dramatic. Since last Friday alone, 59 people have died of Covid-19 in the state. Only a fraction of the planned operations take place. ÖVP governor Thomas Stelzer, who had largely avoided the subject of pandemics until the state elections at the end of September, appealed to the population on Tuesday to trust science and experts more.
And that a few days after his colleague Haslauer publicly joked about them and said that virologists would prefer to lock everyone up individually. Stelzer appealed to the responsibility of each and every individual for society and the state – more on this in ooe.ORF.at.