Austria starts second lockdown as hospitals brace for COVID-19 peak

Posted by News Express | 17 November 2020 | 745 times

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•Austria president, Alexander Van der Bellen


Most shops in Austria remained shuttered, a curfew came into force and many people switched to remote working on Tuesday as the country went into a new COVID-19 lockdown phase that will last for around three weeks until Dec. 6.

Following weeks of steeply rising novel coronavirus infection numbers, the government announced the new measures on Saturday to prevent an overload of hospitals and intensive care units.

The seven-day infection rate per 100,000 people has been dropping slightly since a record 564 on Friday.

But Health Minister Rudolf Anschober expects the medical system to experience a peak load in the last week of November, as there is a time lag between infections and hospital admissions.

The lockdown is similar to the one that was imposed in March.

Only grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies are allowed to serve customers.

People must remain indoors except for going to work, running vital errands or getting some exercise.

Although all schools switched to remote teaching on Tuesday, education authorities asked pupils to come anyway if they lack IT equipment or quiet learning spaces at home, or if they need direct support from teachers.

Parents whose jobs do not allow them to care for their children during the day can also send them to school.

This approach is different than in March, when everyone was asked to keep their children at home, except for workers in key sectors such as medicine or food retail. (NAN)

Source: News Express

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