British coronavirus mutation now dominant in Vienna

British coronavirus mutation now dominant in Vienna
A coronavirus testing centre in Vienna. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP
The mutation of coronavirus first detected in the UK is now the dominant strain in Vienna.

As at Thursday, February 25th, 55 percent of new cases in the Austrian capital are from the B117 mutation first detected in the British region of Kent in 2020. 

In addition to the British mutation, there are ten active cases of the South African variant in Vienna. 

On Thursday morning, 593 new cases were recorded in Vienna from a total of 47,050 tests. 

The numbers in Vienna represent more than a fifth of the 2391 new cases recorded across the country. 

A member of the Austrian coronavirus crisis team told APA “the infection is spreading more and more.”

Mutations leading to isolation and closures

On Wednesday, a primary school in Hietzing was forced to close as a consequence of a British mutation cluster. 

READ: Austrian village sealed off due to coronavirus mutation cluster

Also on Wednesday, the Austrian village of Mayrhofen in Zillertal was sealed off after 29 cases of the South African coronavirus mutation were found there.

There are currently 42 active positive cases of coronavirus among the 4,000 inhabitants of the village. 

Anyone who wants to leave Mayrhofen will have to show a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours. 

All residents will be tested twice using a PCR test between Friday and Wednesday. 

Schools will remain closed and switch to distance learning. Shops will also close apart from grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores.

The isolation measures come after both the Mayrhofen kindergarten and New Middle School reported cases of coronavirus, at least one with a suspicion of the “South African” variant.

Increase significantly

The authorities are already expecting the number of South African coronavirus cases to increase significantly in the coming days.

The decision to seal off the village was decided in a meeting of the Tyrolean task force on Wednesday morning  in order to prevent further spread of infections through the regions.

Police controls should ensure compliance with the measures

For the first time the FFP2 mask requirement will be extended to “defined public places” throughout the Schwaz district, after new legislation by the Ministry of Health. Discussions are still ongoing as to how this should be implemented.


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