Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Find out what's going on in Austria on Thursday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Runners jog in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Runners jog in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Warning of new delta wave coming to Austria

Austria’s Covid-19 traffic light commission is warning that a new, delta-variant wave could be coming soon. The commission is currently assuming that the delta variant accounts for more than six percent of new infections.

However, it is hard to be certain of the exact figures, because the sequencing is based on PCR tests, which are only carried out in Vienna. In the federal capital, there is currently a doubling of delta cases, broadcaster ORF reports.

READ MORE: Explained: How does Austria’s coronavirus traffic light system work?

361 cases of delta variant recorded in Austria

In Austria, 361 cases of the delta variant have been identified in Austria, according to the latest variant report of the AGES database. Most of the cases (256) were found in Vienna. In Vorarlberg there were 28 confirmed cases of infections with the Delta variant.

There were also 28 cases in Salzburg, 24 in Tyrol, eight in Styria, four in Upper Austria and seven in Burgenland. The number of cases with the Delta variant in Lower Austria, meanwhile, rose on Wednesday by 19 to 41.

In Vorarlberg there were 28 confirmed cases of infections with delta. While the database found no cases in Carinthia and Vorarlberg, delta mutations have been detected there as well according to broadcaster ORF

Seven day incidence is 10.5

The seven day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 10.5. No federal state has a value above 25 and many have a value below 10.0. Styria (3.6) has the lowest, Vienna with 21.6 is the highest.

Austria joins other EU nations in condemnation of Hungary’s anti-LGBT legislation

Austria has now joined with 14 European Union member states to condemned new anti-LGBT legislation in Hungary.

The Wiener Zeitung newspaper quotes European Minister Karoline Edtstadler, who called the developments “deeply worrying”.

AstraZeneca is still used for first vaccinations

So far more than 1.2 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses have been administered across Austria. 420,211 people have already received the second dose, and 371,551 people are still waiting to be fully vaccinated. AstraZeneca is expected to deliver 98,400 doses to Austria this week and 537,600 next week, making a total of two million AstraZeneca doses for Austria by the end of next week.

The Ministry of Health has told Der Standard newspaper that the vaccine will still be used for first vaccinations, although Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein announced last month that Austria would phase out Covid-19 vaccinations with AstraZeneca due to delivery problems.

Calls to classify Covid-19 as an occupational disease

The Vienna Chamber of Labor (AK) is calling for Covid-19 to be classed as an occupational disease in general, and not just for people in certain occupations. The AK also wants it to be simpler to prove a person has been infected at work. Wolfgang Panhölzl, head of the social insurance department of AK Vienna, told the APA agency that currently insurance was “restrictive” for people who had been infected with Covid-19 at work.

Classing Covid-19 as an occupational disease would mean more people would be entitled to medical rehabilitation, rather than the current situation, which only provides for “appropriate” or “necessary” treatment, Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Severe storms hit Austria

Severe storms have raged again over parts of Austria on Wednesday evening. The Flachgau in Salzburg, Upper Austria, Carinthia and East Tyrol were affected, and there have been delays on railways after power supplies were affected in Carinthia.

The southern railway line between St. Veit an der Glan and Villach, the Tauern railway line between Mallnitz and Villach, the Drautal railway and the Ossiach line are experiencing problems according to broadcaster ORF

A total of 18 fire brigades with 479 men and women were deployed on 125 missions in Salzburg – including in the city of Salzburg and in Pinzgau. The storms lasted from about 9pm to 11pm after which the situation calmed down.

President checks documents received by criminal court

Austria’s Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen instructed the Vienna Criminal Court to check the data from the Ministry of Finance in connection with the delivery of files by Finance Minister Gernot Blümel to the U-Committee, to clarify whether Parliament received everything it needs on the case, the APA agency reports.

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