Austria has posted a new record number of coronavirus infections, totalling 47,795 cases in 24 hours, according to data from the country’s Health Ministry.
This comes on the same day that the alpine country announced its decision to scrap a mandatory vaccination law that would have imposed fines starting at €600 to people who have not vaccinated against Covid-19.
The record number also comes in less than a week after Austria lifted most Covid restrictions.
On March 5th, nightclubs reopened for vaccinated people throughout Austria. Most of the country also removed requirements to show proof of vaccination or recovery (2G) and even testing (3g rule) to enter bars and restaurants.
Vienna, however, kept the 2G rule for gastronomy and the FFP2 mask mandate indoors.
The capital’s Mayor Michael Ludwig was one of the people who pointed out that the record number of new cases came in tandem with the reopening.
“The number of infections is at an absolute record level. Removing the protections was a mistake. I have always warned about this development! We will continue to follow the consistent path in Vienna”, the SPÖ mayor tweeted.
Corona in numbers
The Health Ministry recorded 47,795 cases in 24 hours, with 2,764 people in hospitals with the virus (four more than the day before) and 182 in intensive care units.
Since the pandemic began, 15,113 people have died with corona, 42 of them in the last 24 hours.
Austria is one of the countries with the lowest vaccination rates, with 69.47 per cent of its population fully vaccinated and 75.79 per cent partially vaccinated. In the last seven days, 17.39 per cent fewer doses were given than in the same period before.
The vaccination mandate law came into force early in February, but the rates have not risen significantly since then.
There were no sanctions against the non-vaccinated, though, that would’ve come in mid-March before being suspended by the federal government.
As life reopens for everyone, with few or no restrictions or health measures, and the mandate falls, politicians and specialists warn of possible repercussions with rising infections, and the possible arrival of new variants in autumn.