Opening steps ‘possible’ in May, says expert
Opening steps may be possible for Austria in May, simulation expert Niki Popper has told ZIB. He said modelling showed the situation will get better “very soon”, but he would like to see infections reduce faster.
He said the lockdown in the east was working, even if the willingness to participate is decreasing, the Kurier newspaper reports.
Memorial service for coronavirus victims to be held this morning
A memorial to honour the Austrian victims of the corona pandemic will be held later today. Austria’s Federal President Van der Bellen, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and others will gather at 10am in Austria’s Aula der Wissenschaft science building.
Vienna starts vaccinating high risk patients in all age groups
Vienna has begun to vaccinate its high-risk patients.
Now everyone born up to 2005 can register for a jab. So far, around 129,600 high-risk patients have registered with the Vienna Vaccination Service – including people suffering from asthma or diabetes.
Of those, 64,744 people have already been vaccinated. All people in this group should receive their first injection in April, Der Standard newspaper reports.
Third wave has passed its peak
As The Local reported yesterday the third wave of the corona pandemic has passed its peak in Austria according to the Covid forecast consortium the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports. However, even if the number of new infections continues to decline, this does not mean rapid relief for intensive care units in hospitals.
Optimism ‘has evaporated’ in Austrian companies, says Deloitte survey
Optimism has evaporated in Austrian companies, according to CEO of Deloitte Austria Harald Breit, the Wiener Zietung newspaper reports. Deloitte surveyed 250 Austrian top executives, but only 27 percent now believe that Austria’s recovery will be “good” or “very good” in comparison to other European countries.
In summer 2020 it was 64 percent. The executives see an urgent need for action in digitisation in the health sector, public administration and education.
Austria pays most corona aid
More than €34.6 billion euros in corona aid has been promised or paid out by the federal government so far according to Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports Significantly more aid per capita was paid out in Austria than in other EU countries, according to a study by economic institute EcoAustria. In 2020 and 2021 together, Austria used more than 10 percent of GDP into COVID relief measures. The EU average is 5.5 percent of GDP, it reports.
Spying allegations rejected by OMV
The board of the Austrian state-owned oil, gas and chemical company OMV has met and produced a report on allegations it used international espionage companies to monitor environmental organisations Greenpeace and Fridays for Future.
OMV admitted using companies to get information about activities of environmental NGOs, but rejects the spying allegations, saying it was only trying to protect its critical infrastructure Der Standard newspaper reports.