Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday

Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
ALEX HALADA / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland extend lockdown

As The Local reported on Tuesday, due to pressure on Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland’s intensive care units, the lockdown in the eastern states will be extended until April 18th.

Non-essential retail, hairdressers and other “body-hugging” service providers, museums and zoos will remain closed, and schools will stay switched to distance learning.

READ MORE: Vienna and eastern states set to extend coronavirus lockdown

Hospitals under stress since second wave, says intensive care doctor

Viennese intensive care physician Thomas Staudinger has given an interview to the radio programme  Ö1 Morgenjournal  in which he says intensive care units in the city have been under stress since the second wave in the autumn.

He says planned treatments have had to be postponed due to the large number of coronavirus patients in Vienna’s hospitals, Der Standard reports.

The city-state’s ICUs currently include 224 coronavirus patients, the highest number since the pandemic began, reports Austrian news agency ORF. However, the Ministry of Health expects the number to climb to 270 by 14th April. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus ICUs at record capacity in Vienna and eastern Austria

Vienna’s Mayor says many patients in city’s hospitals come from other states

Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig wrote in a Facebook post that in many of Vienna’s hospitals between 15 and  40 percent of  patients already come from other states.

The government held a summit with other states on Tuesday to try and distribute intensive care patients from heavily used federal states in the east to less affected ones in the rest of the country, Der Standard reports.

Openings in May still “realistic” says Kurz

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz still believes it will be possible to open up culture, restaurants and hotels in May in Austria, despite the pressure in Austria’s hospitals in the eastern states. However, he says the measures depend on the number of infections.

There will be further discussion of possible opening steps in two weeks by a commission, including social partners, the association of cities and municipalities and the chairman of the governor’s conference, Der Standard reports. 

Infections still high throughout Austria 

Every state in Austria has a seven-day incidence rate of more than 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the country’s broadcaster ORF. Vorarlberg has the lowest seven day incidence (127.2), while Vienna has the largest number of coronavirus infections (322.8). The seven day incidence across Austria is 233.8.


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