Monday, November 29, 2021

News blog Covid-19 Austria: Lockdown for unvaccinated people is apparently having an effect

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In Austria there is a lockdown for unvaccinated people. With this strict measure, Chancellor Schallenberg wants to increase the vaccination rate – and his project seems to be successful. All information in the news blog.

The corona pandemic has had Germany and the world firmly under control since 2020. The number of new infections is currently high, especially in Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia. Recently, more than 50,000 new infections were reported within one day. The vaccinations are only progressing slowly. Around 67 percent of the population are currently fully vaccinated.

According to Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, the corona lockdown for unvaccinated people in Austria is already showing initial success. The measure is “already having an effect,” said Schallenberg on Monday in an interview with the AFP news agency. “We got almost half a million extra vaccinations last week – and that’s exactly what we want to achieve.”

Schallenberg referred to the fact that unvaccinated people were vaccinated in anticipation of the lockdown. The nationwide lockdown went into effect this Monday. It is initially valid for ten days for all people aged twelve and over who have neither a vaccination certificate nor proof of a corona infection that has survived in the past 180 days.

Schallenberg called the lockdown a “difficult” measure. His government made this decision “not lightly”, as part of the population was “partially deprived of its freedoms”. But the only chance to get out of the “vicious circle” of the pandemic is to increase the vaccination rate. At 65 percent of the population, this is “still shamefully low”. In Germany, the proportion of people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus is not much higher at 67.5 percent.

The head of government denied that the lockdown for unvaccinated people was discrimination. His government had the measure examined by constitutional lawyers and legal services. His goal is “very clear”: “I want to get the unvaccinated to vaccinate and not lock up the vaccinated.” This will continue to be his line. With the best will in the world, he could not imagine that two-thirds of society would be willing “out of solidarity” with one third of the unvaccinated to renounce their freedom rights and go into lockdown, said Schallenberg.

Christmas market in Vienna: visitors show their vaccination certificate.  Unvaccinated citizens are not allowed to participate.  (Source: imago images / Xinhua)Christmas market in Vienna: visitors show their vaccination certificate. Unvaccinated citizens are not allowed to participate. (Source: Xinhua / imago images)

Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer expects a uniform approach from the upcoming federal-state meeting on the corona situation. “We have to send a strong joint signal on Thursday that the situation is very threatening,” said the CDU politician on Monday evening in an ARD “Extra”. Since the beginning of last week, Saxony was the first federal state to enact comprehensive 2G rules, which in many areas only provide access for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. Kretschmer also considers this to be necessary nationwide. Germany must now do that as a whole, there is nothing else to do.

The incumbent Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn spoke in the ARD broadcast and in a ZDF “Spezial” of a week of decisions at the Prime Minister’s Conference and in the Bundestag on Thursday, where the amended Infection Act is up for voting. Spahn also warned that uniformity of resolutions was necessary for acceptance by the citizens. But everyone should be careful in everyday life, said the CDU politician in the ARD. He pointed out the rules of distance, wearing masks and more tests. If in doubt, one should be tested in the family before a visit, even vaccinated people, advised the minister.

SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz welcomes the debate about partial compulsory vaccination. “I think it’s right that we have started a discussion about whether we should do that,” said Scholz at an event organized by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. The persuasion for vaccination worked well for a long time, but not sufficiently. “Now we have a debate that can be held,” he says, without defining the content. But he thinks it is possible to make such a decision. A political consensus is necessary for this.

“The vaccination rate in areas such as nursing, health care and daycare centers is very high in relation to the average of the population,” says Verdi boss Frank Werneke. “If people now think about compulsory vaccination, it does not mean that significantly more people are vaccinated, but that even more people will leave their jobs. This exacerbates the shortage of staff in all areas concerned.” In addition, the politicians are becoming implausible because they have ruled out a compulsory vaccination, added the union chairman.

In view of the dramatic worsening of the corona situation, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for greater efforts to combat the pandemic. “In these weeks, in which the fourth wave hits us with brutal severity, in which thousands are again wrestling with the virus in the intensive care units, in which children, adolescents and, above all, many unvaccinated people are infected, in these weeks we have to do more to break this wave, “said Steinmeier on Monday in a panel discussion in Berlin’s Bellevue Palace. At the same time he called on those who were still hesitant to get vaccinated now.

“When I hear that people who are wrestling with the virus in hospitals still deny that this virus exists, I am deeply shocked,” said Steinmeier. This is tragic and worries him deeply. “If you are still hesitant about getting vaccinated, I want to ask you directly today: What still has to happen to convince you?” So he asked again: “Get vaccinated! It’s about your health and it’s about the future of your country!”

The fourth wave hits us harder than it should hit us, said Steinmeier. “Because we know what to do to finally put this pandemic behind us. We can all know.” Most people got vaccinated to protect themselves and others. “Those who don’t get vaccinated are putting their own health at risk and they are putting us all at risk.” It is mainly unvaccinated people who are currently infected with the virus. And it is above all unvaccinated people who are fighting for their lives in the intensive care units.

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