Ludwig urges caution, Platter and Haslauer insist on easing

And another record: On Friday, 38,631 new corona infections were registered nationwide. That was less than Thursday’s 43,053, but this number included 6,009 late registrations.

Politically, the hiccups continued about possible relaxation of the corona measures. There are differences in the position of the western federal states with winter tourism, which primarily insist on an end to the 2G rule and a curfew later than 10 p.m., and eastern Austria.

Tyrol’s governor Günther Platter (VP) told the Tiroler Tageszeitung that it was time to have a discussion about easing and to prepare for it: “A long time ago we agreed with the federal government in the Corona management that for us the ICU occupancy is critical.” Despite the highest levels of infections, fewer people are currently being treated intensively in Tyrol than they were last in October. He also questioned “wearing a mask at school” and distance learning.

Stelzer: Graduated plan with experts

Salzburg’s governor Wilfried Haslauer (VP) is in favor of easing from Monday, as he said on Thursday evening in the ZiB2.

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ)

Image: APA

Vienna’s Mayor Michael Ludwig (SP) sees it differently. When asked by OÖ Nachrichten, his office said that he deliberately did not take part in the discussion because debating details ran counter to security and the trust of the population. The federal and state governments agreed a long time ago to work together with the Gecko experts on crisis management and communication. Ludwig sticks to the “path of caution” and doesn’t want to take any risks. In view of the number development, it is “too early” to talk about openings.

Chancellor Karl Nehammer (VP) and Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein are also on the brakes as long as the number of cases is increasing.

Rumors of a federal-state summit this Sunday have been denied in government and state governor offices. But one could always be convened at short notice, it was heard.

After the effects of the omicron subtype BA.2 are difficult to assess, Upper Austria’s governor Thomas Stelzer (VP) is in favor of a phased plan with experts for loosening. The decisive factor is the situation in the hospitals.

The number of hospital patients rose nationwide on Friday by 80 to 1395. There was a slight increase in intensive care patients with plus three to 183. As reported, current forecasts assume that the intensive care capacities will not be overloaded in the omicron wave. However, the Corona Traffic Light Commission warned that “hasty opening steps” still pose a risk of endangering the health system. The Gecko Advisory Board met on Friday, after which there were no new recommendations for the time being.

The proportion of vaccinated patients in the normal wards has recently increased. On Friday it was 45 percent in Upper Austria, and even 53 percent the day before. However, these are mainly people who get Corona as an additional finding, i.e. were not admitted because of this, but are then positive in the hospital test.

Vaccinated: Corona additional finding

In the Salzkammergut Clinic, for example, there are 34 corona patients in the normal ward, as Medical Director Tilman Königswieser explained. 17 of them are fully vaccinated. But 14 of them are here because of other illnesses, said Königswieser: “They wouldn’t be in the hospital if they didn’t have the other illness.” Intubated and omicrons are almost non-existent among vaccinated people. (az)

Expiring vaccination certificates may be valid for longer

On February 1st, the validity of the corona vaccination will be reduced from nine to six months after the second stitch. Anyone who did not receive a booster will lose their 2G certificate on Tuesday. As of yesterday, 323,621 people are still affected.

But on Friday it was said that the deadline may be postponed or a transitional period introduced. The Ministry of Health announced that the company was in talks and “in the final vote”. A solution could be presented at the weekend.

A group of initiators submitted their previously collected signatures for a referendum against compulsory vaccination in the Ministry of the Interior on Friday. There are already almost 163,000 supporters, it was announced. Registration week is probably in May.

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