One case from Tyrol is “definitely” the variant with the scientific designation B.1.1.529. Suspected cases are being investigated in Vorarlberg and Upper Austria.
The Tyrolean authorities announced the suspected case on Saturday evening. The infection affects a person who tested positive for Covid-19 after a trip to South Africa and currently has no symptoms. According to Elmar Rizzoli, head of the Tyrolean Corona task force, all contact persons were immediately separated.
The State of Tyrol requests all people who have returned from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini in the last 14 days to do a PCR test. This should be repeated on the fifth and tenth day after entry. So far 31 people have answered. “In addition to the positive result mentioned, there is already a negative test result for 20 people, and tests are currently in progress for eleven people,” it said.
The person concerned in Vorarlberg, who is suspected of having Omikron, has returned from a trip to southern Africa. An antigen test had a positive result, the result of the PCR test is still pending, the country said. If this is also positive, the AGES in Vienna has to sequence the sample. An infection with the corona virus is very likely because the person has symptoms, said Florian Themeßl-Huber, the head of the state press office.
There is also a first suspected Omikron case in Upper Austria. This was confirmed to the APA from the office of LH Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP) on Monday. Here, too, AGES must first clarify whether the new variant is really available. It is about a person who has traveled home from South Africa.
The Omikron variant will probably already have arrived in Vienna, suspected the Vienna City Councilor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ). Because one can assume that it already exists in all of Europe. It is all the more necessary to make it clear that the third vaccination is also particularly important, emphasized the city council. But one is not surprised that a mutation has occurred.
The company Lifebrain, which mainly dies in Vienna, carries out “Everything gurgles!” “Today or tomorrow we can start,” a company spokesman told the PA on Monday. According to the Hacker’s office, the corresponding reagents have only been available from a specialist manufacturer since Saturday and were “ordered immediately”.
There is precise control at Vienna Airport in Schwechat (Bruck ad Leitha district) in order to identify those returning from South African countries. The tightening of entry regulations has been in force since Saturday. South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini have been classified as virus variant areas. Entry from these countries is prohibited. In addition, it was imposed on flights from these seven areas. Travelers who come to Schwechat from the transfer airports in Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Dubai, Doha, Frankfurt, Cairo, Istanbul and Zurich are also checked for their travel history, said airport spokesman Peter Kleemann.
Austrian citizens and EU citizens are allowed to enter the country. Return travelers & show a negative PCR test and enter a ten-day quarantine. According to the authorities, free testing is possible from the fifth day.
The Omikron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been making headlines around the world for days. The WHO claims to be working with technical partners to assess the effects of the variant on countermeasures such as vaccines. It is still unclear whether B.1.1.259 is concurrent with other Covid 19 variants or whether it leads to a more severe course of the disease.