OrbánLabz: how is Austria softer and how harder?

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Strictly speaking, based on the numbers, it is by no means certain that Austria is the example to follow for Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on Monday morning that Hungary will follow Austria in a week or two in terms of the course of the epidemic, and accordingly the government will introduce measures similar to the Austrian model.

Vienna has tightened epidemiological restrictions since Tuesday last week. The local press has been watching the statistics ever since, and so far neither the number of illnesses nor the number of deaths are very encouraging. In the last six days, the number of diseases has increased by almost 35,000, and 1,411 people have died of the virus in Austria so far.

Of course, it would be unfair to judge the effects of epidemiological restrictions so early, but the Vienna government is not happy with the results so far. Rudolf Anschober, Minister of Health, on Saturday said,

Anschober also talked about if the epidemic situation does not improve, the Austrian health care system will reach the upper limit of its performance. The situation is particularly bad in Upper Austria, where care for patients with severe symptoms is already a problem. The Minister therefore asked for the help of the population: to reduce the number of their personal meetings by at least half, to keep the mandatory minimum distance and to pay special attention to the wearing of masks. He was also urged by the Stop -Corona-App, an application that supports contact research.

The Austrian minister has previously asked the public to install the software. He said 60 percent of the population would need to install the app to be effective be .

The Hungarian government has taken over a number of elements from the Austrian restrictions. Information portal of the Austrian government Based on The following restrictions currently apply in Austria:

These rules may be tightened by the Austrian government if they do not show a spectacular improvement in epidemiological statistics as soon as possible. In addition to the numbers, the Hungarian government should also pay attention to the Vienna opposition. Immediately after the announcement of the restrictions, the government was put under great pressure, calling the rules visual measures. This narrative is also represented by the SPÖ, the Austrian Social Democratic Party.

formulated the chairman of the SPÖ over the weekend, Pamela Rendi-Wagner. The former doctor of health with a doctor’s degree responded to the statistics, primarily objecting to contact research by the authorities. As he said, not a quarter of the cases can be rolled up by the federal government, and from now on ‘all measures can only be firefighting’.

Rendi-Wagner therefore calls for a committee of inquiry to be set up. As he said, an independent, professional body must judge how effective the government’s restrictive measures are.

(Cover image: PCR test performed by a healthcare worker in Vienna on October 30, 2020. Photo: Leonhard Foeger / Reuters)

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