Austria is planning openings and easing in the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tries to swipe at Germany. But how great is the progress made in the Corona crisis?
Munich / Vienna – In the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic, German politicians and scientists often looked across the Alps and Inn to Austria. The neighbor, so it was said from Bavaria and Munich, is always about two to three weeks ahead in the development of the infection process.
Coronavirus pandemic: Austria’s Sebastian Kurz with swipes against Germany
For weeks now, the neighbor has also been looking over the Alps and the Innviertel to Germany. Figuratively speaking. Mainly from the Federal Chancellery in Vienna. Where Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) conducts his government business from. Small swipes at the neighbors included. At a press conference on April 6, Kurz pointed out that Germany was “still in lockdown”, while Austria was facing “the last tough weeks”.
Freedom is within your grasp.
On April 19, the conservative chancellor followed up, declaring that there was a significantly lower number of new corona infections in Austria than in Germany. And why? Because comparatively much more is being tested in the Alpine republic.
Covid-19 pandemic: In Austria, much more is tested for the corona virus than in Germany
That’s right for now: In the federal chaos between Berlin and Munich, between North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony, test strategies that have long been implemented between Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna have been discussed for months. Austria’s coronavirus test strategy essentially includes:
- Schools: They do it twice a week Children a “nose drill test” – And that since February.
- A large network of test roads in the federal states: In Vienna, for example, seven test roads are available free of charge. Even without Covid-19 symptoms, citizens can do an antigen test here free of charge and very easily.
- “The population’s awareness is growinghow important it is to take a test, “said the president of the Samariterbund Vienna, Susanne Drapalik, the ORF.
- Early and extensive procurement of the corona tests: According to the European Center for the Prevention of Disease Control, Austria ranked third in an EU comparison in mid-February – behind Cyprus and Denmark. With 10,800 coronavirus tests per week per 100,000 inhabitants. At that time Germany only came in 22nd.
Source: tagesschau.de, As of February 17, 2021
The joy about the supposed successes is great. “In the meantime we have constant mass tests”, declared Kurz on April 16 and prophesied in his usual statesmanlike rhetoric: “Freedom is within our grasp.”
Coronavirus pandemic in Austria: Corona numbers speak a different language
But why is the 34-year-old constantly teasing neighbor Germany? Is the progress really that great in comparison? Answer: no! You have to put it into perspective. This is proven by several points for assessing the corona situation:
- 7-day incidence: This was 196.8 in Austria on Sunday (April 18) – in Germany it was 165.3 on the same day. Although the value is falling in the Alpine republic, the incidence is still high to very high.
- New corona infections: These recently decreased. But: For a long time now, the daily average of 2,000 newly reported corona cases has hardly been undercut. This is shown by the figures from the Ministry of Health. New infections were registered on April 20, 2026. For comparison: Measured against the 8.9 million inhabitants, this corresponds to about 20,000 new infections in Germany (83 million inhabitants). The situation is apparently classified differently. Striking: According to the public service ORF, increasing corona numbers were reported from individual federal states on April 19 – from Vorarlberg (+68), from Upper Austria (+105) and from Tyrol (+6).
- Corona vaccinations: According to the Ministry of Health in Austria, as of April 19, 2,512,488 corona vaccine doses had been administered. The Austrian federal government proudly announced that every fifth person in the Alpine republic had received an initial vaccination. But: Here too you have to put the size of the two countries in relation to each other. According to the website of the Ministry of Health in Vienna, a person is vaccinated every 1.8 seconds in Austria, but every 0.2 seconds in Germany, according to the vaccination dashboard of the Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin.
- Utilization of the intensive care units: According to the report of the COVID forecast consortium, which is subordinate to the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, this is very high until (at least) the end of April. Even if it is declining slightly. Scientists have been warning for weeks. The virologist Norbert Nowotny from the Vetmeduni Vienna told the TV broadcaster Puls 24: “After we have the British virus variant, which is not only more contagious, but unfortunately also leads to a more severe course of the disease, the intensive care units in eastern Austria are full. Originally Vienna, now Lower Austria too. That said, the numbers we currently have are bad enough. The intensive care units are reaching their limits. ”After all: In Vienna (1.9 million inhabitants), which was badly affected, the number of intensive care beds used recently fell slightly from an average of 223 to 194.
Sources: Ministry of Health Vienna, vaccination dashboard from BMG and RKI, report by the COVID forecast consortium, ORF.at
Corona pandemic: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wants to rigorously open and loosen up in Austria soon
Conclusion: Kurz now promises his country far-reaching openings and easing. Like the news portal oe24.at reported on April 20th, it should be ready on May 17th. Including gastronomy and tourism. Whether these prospects really cover the true corona situation is another matter. (pm)
#Corona #Chancellor #Kurz #open #Austria #Germany #figures #show #clear #contradiction