Austria reaches ‘shockingly high’ new record for Covid-19 cases

Austria recorded almost 30,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday, a record-breaking figure which the Chancellor called "shockingly high" and which has pushed testing capacity to the limit.

People queue for Covid tests in Vienna
People line up outside the Stadthalle city hall in Vienna, Austria to get tested for Covid. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

The exact figure was 27,677 according to the Health and Interior Ministries, revised slightly from earlier statements. 

The previous highest number of daily new cases was 17,334, reported last Friday.

There are three different institutes that publish case updates: the Interior Ministry and AGES, which have not yet published their latest figures based on regional reports, and the Epidemiological Reporting System (EMS). The latter includes raw data which hasn’t been adjusted for things like duplicates or incorrect data entry, and earlier on Wednesday the EMS reported 31,070 new cases.

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Chancellor Karl Nehammer then said that Wednesday had seen “almost 30,000 new cases” which he called a “shockingly high number”.

The final number was slightly lower than that, at 27,677, but this was still a sharp rise from recent days.

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This figure is however in line with the estimates of Austria’s Covid Forecasting Consortium who warned of highs of 30,000 daily cases last week and increase in the number of hospital admissions nearer the end of the month. The consortium now expects around 40,000 daily cases in a week’s time.

“We had to expect that the number of infections would increase this much today. At the same time, you can see that hospital occupancy is stable,” Nehammer told media.

Wednesdays typically see the highest number of cases reported, due to a number of factors including that most of the weekly PCR tests carried out in schools are included in Wednesday’s figures.

The Omicron wave has put pressure on testing capacity across Austria, with the government announcing on Wednesday that at-home antigen tests will once again be valid for 3G entry (required for workplaces), though Vienna has rejected the change.

In Tyrol for example, there are significant delays in receiving test results, and up to 4,000 calls are being made to the region’s Covid hotline each day.

Other European countries are also battling soaring Omicron rates, with the Czech Republic also close to 30,000 new cases reported on Wednesday, neighbouring France recently averaging around 300,000 cases daily and Germany reaching an all-time daily high of over 100,000 new cases.

Member comments

  1. Ah they should have locked down harder. See, if we lock down forever we will never have to lock down again in the future!

    1. With Omicron it seems to be much more difficult to stop the virus spreading unless the population is well boosted. The UK seems to have peaked without resorting to such extreme measures as they used during the first wave of Covid-19. Time may disprove this though!

      1. Boosters do nothing to stop the spread. Nothing will stop the spread. We humans think we can evade nature but really we can’t

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