Austria has once again closed non-essential trade, gastronomy, museums, cultural events and shows on Monday, becoming the first country in Europe to impose a lockdown across the country to stop the fourth wave of covid this winter.
The streets of Vienna, which over the weekend were the scene of attempted protests against the measures adopted to combat the pandemic, were empty today.
After chaining several records of new infections in recent weeks, the Alpine republic of 8.9 million inhabitants, currently registers a cumulative incidence in seven days of 1102 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
In hospitals in some regions, intensive care units have been filled with covid patients and are on the verge of collapse, which has forced the postponement of numerous operations and treatments for various diseases.
The Government, made up of conservatives and environmentalists, decided and announced the new confinement last Friday after registering several records of new infections and only five days after restrictions were imposed only for the unimmunized.
The measures will foreseeably govern for 20 days, until December 12, although they must be extended by decree at the end of the month.
As on previous occasions, the confinement in Austria is moderate if compared to the tax in the past in other countries, given the many reasons why people are allowed to leave the house. Among them, for example, going by train to ski.
The FFP2 masks are mandatory in all closed public places and also at work, where you also have to maintain a physical distance of at least two meters between people. Authorities have asked that everyone who can work from home.
Professional sports events, such as soccer, will take place no audience.
Along with the new confinement, the Austrian Government announced that from February the covid vaccine will be mandatory, a measure adopted given the low immunization rate of the population, which is currently 66%, insufficient to stop the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Incidence in Germany sets new records
The accumulated incidence has added another new peak in Germany, with 386.5 new infections with coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, while the insufficient vaccination rate, of 68%, opens the debate on its obligatory nature. Thus, the incidence rose from 372.7 yesterday, 303 a week ago and 95.1 a month ago.
Health authorities reported 30,643 new infections in 24 hours and 62 deaths, while the number of active cases shoots up to 637,200, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) of virology updated last morning.
The cumulative rate of admission in seven days is currently 5.34 in Germany, and the occupancy in the ucis of patients with covid-19 is 15.3% of beds available in critical care units for the adult population.
The rate of vaccination in Germany remains among the lowest in Europe, with only 70.5% of the population vaccinated, 68.0%, with the complete regimen, which has opened the debate on a possible obligation.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.