Austria will be quarantined on Tuesday, November 17, and the restriction period will last until December 6. After this date, a large-scale test for COVID-19 will take place, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced, according to Freedom.
Austria has a population of 8.9 million. More than 4,000 people are currently hospitalized in Austria for complications due to COVID-19, of which about 560 are in intensive care, close to the maximum level the health system can afford. A total of 1,829 people have died in the country from the infection, according to the official tally.
Slovakia conducted rapid tests on about 3.6 million of the 5.5 million inhabitants (aged 10 to 65) in the last weekend of October and the first of November. These tests found tens of thousands of asymptomatic but coronavirus-positive ones, which were then isolated.
Referring to the large-scale tests carried out in the neighboring country, Kurz said on Sunday for the public radio station ORF: “We have decided here in Austria (…) to follow the same path.”
The government will provide more details next week on the project, which will be a “logistical challenge,” according to the chancellor.
Kurz has been criticized for delaying more drastic action this fall as the epidemic began to spread again. Partial isolation was instituted two weeks ago, but failed to slow the spread of the virus, Libertatea journalists write.
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