Austria will implement a nationwide COVID lockdown and vaccine mandate.

Ballistic, Poland Austria became the first European country to announce a new nationwide lockdown. Increasing COVID-19 infection. It starts on Monday and will last for at least 10 days, possibly 20, people are only allowed to go out for essentials like groceries, medicine or exercise. Schools are to remain open, but the government has urged parents to keep their children at home if possible.

The government also announced that from February 1, all Austrians over the age of 18 will have to be vaccinated against the disease. Corona virusBy law.

Strict measures come between the highest daily COVID-19 infections. Austria has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, and one of the highest infection rates.

“We have not been able to persuade enough people to be vaccinated,” Chancellor Alexander Schlinberg told a news conference on Friday, acknowledging the new restrictions were “very painful”.

Austria-Health-Virus
The novel Corona Virus COVID-19 in Salzburg on November 19, 2021 demonstrates a symbolic principle for visitors to the Christmas market amid the epidemic.

Barbara Gundell / APA / AFP / Getty


Neighboring Germany is considering a similar nationwide lockdown as the fourth wave of COVID-19 engulfs much of Europe. Some of the worst affected countries are in Eastern Europe.

Poland has recorded the highest number of daily infections since last April – more than 24,000 daily – while the death toll has risen to about 80,000 since the onset of the epidemic.

We visited a COVID intensive care unit in Bialystok, a town near the Polish border with Belarus, and found the ward full. Only one bed was available, as an elderly woman had just died.

“Usually about 20 percent survive,” a ward nurse told CBS News. He said no patient had been vaccinated in the ICU.


Europe is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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“We treat more than 300 patients with COVID-19,” said Katarzyna Malinowska, a spokeswoman for the University Clinic Hospital in Bialystok. “Five percent who are treated in intensive care. [are] Unvaccinated and 99% die. [are] Unvaccinated. “

“But still people don’t want to be vaccinated,” he lamented.

While an ineffective rollout has affected Poland’s vaccination program, Austria and other Eastern European countries have also suffered significant mistrust of the vaccine, partly through far-right political groups that Concerns over immigration and other issues have grown in recent years.

“For a long time, the consensus in this country was that we did not want compulsory vaccinations,” Schelenberg said Friday. “For a long time, maybe too long.”

The people of Europe, like the rest of the world, thought they had the darkest days of the epidemic behind them. But intensive care units across the continent are filling up again.

The only difference is that the last time the situation got so bad, getting vaccinated was not an option.

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