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

What developments will autumn bring in Austria? (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
What developments will autumn bring in Austria? (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Thursday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Fears for autumn due to increased numbers in intensive care

Austria’s Covid-19 forecast consortium believes there will be a further increase in intensive care patients from 133 on August 31st  to 219 people by  September 15, an increase of 64.5 percent. In the worst-case scenario, the consortium said it cannot be ruled out that the intensive care beds in Upper Austria and Vorarlberg will exceed the 33 percent limit, at which point emergency care in the region is affected, Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Lottery prize could be used to increase vaccine take-up

The governor of Burgenland wants to introduce a lottery prize to encourage more people to be vaccinated. In Burgenland, 66.29 percent of people who can be vaccinated against the coronavirus are currently fully immunized – this is the highest value in Austria.  Governor Hans Peter Doskozil Doskozil is aiming for a vaccination rate of more than 80 percent by November 11th, he told broadcaster ORF. The top prize could be a car. However, he believes coronavirus tests should remain free of charge in Burgenland.

Free Covid-19 tests for unvaccinated ‘should end’

By contrast, Lower Austria’s governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) has spoken out in favour of ending free Covid-19 tests, in an interview with broadcaster ORF.  She told the broadcaster that it ‘made sense’ to discuss the strategy of free tests for those unwilling to vaccinate. The President of the Medical Association, Thomas Szekeres, has also spoken out in favor of an end to the free tests. ORF notes testing has already cost Austria around a billion euros since the start of the pandemic. 

Interactive map shows vaccination locations

The Ministry of Education has created an interactive map of Austria, showing where young people can get vaccinated in Austria. It shows the location of vaccination buses, pop-up vaccination offers and vaccination centers. Vaccines are currently approved in Austria for children aged 12 and over.

Two Austrian universities in top 200 worldwide

For the first time, two Austrian universities have been placed in the top 200 in the annual Times Higher Education Ranking. In addition to the University of Vienna, which climbed 27 places to 137th this year, the Medical University of Graz also made it into this group in the new ranking published on Thursday. It climbed to 196 in the rankings.

Austria ‘struggles’ to secure World Cup spot

Austria is struggling to secure a place in the World Cup in Qatar, broadcaster ORF reports. In its 2-0 victory over Moldova, ORF says there was a “lack of precision and determination” in the Austrian team. On Saturday, Austria will meet Israel in Haifa, and on Tuesday the team will play Scotland in Vienna. The match will be broadcast at 8.45 p.m., live on ORF1. Austria is currently five points behind Group F leader Denmark.


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