Western Europe battles Covid surge

Austria will be the first country in the region to reimpose a full lockdown as Germany warns it may follow suit.
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Friday that the lockdown will start on Monday and initially last for 10 days. In picture - Police check vaccination status on a Christmas market in Vienna, Austria.(AP)
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Friday that the lockdown will start on Monday and initially last for 10 days. In picture - Police check vaccination status on a Christmas market in Vienna, Austria.(AP)
Updated on Nov 20, 2021 03:15 AM IST
Copy Link
Agencies | By, Vienna

Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full coronavirus lockdown this autumn to tackle a new wave of infections, and will require its whole population to be vaccinated as of February, its government said on Friday.

Austria will become the first country in western Europe to reimpose a full coronavirus lockdown this autumn to tackle a new wave of infections, and will require its whole population to be vaccinated as of February, its government said on Friday.

|#+|

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said on Friday that the lockdown will start on Monday and initially last for 10 days. Most stores will close, and cultural events will be cancelled. He initially said all students would have to go back into home schooling.

Starting on February 1, the country will also make vaccinations mandatory, public broadcaster ORF reported.

“We do not want a fifth wave,” Schallenberg said, according to ORF. “Not do we want a sixth or seventh wave.”

Austria had initially introduced a national lockdown only for the unvaccinated that started on Monday, but as virus cases continued to skyrocket the government said it had no choice but to extend it to everyone.

“This is very painful,” Schallenberg said.

Roughly two-thirds of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, one of the lowest rates in western Europe.

Its infections are among the highest on the continent, with a seven-day incidence of 991 per 100,000 people.

“We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,” Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told a news conference.

With cold weather setting in across Europe as winter approaches, governments have been forced to consider reimposing unpopular lockdowns. The Netherlands has reimposed a partial lockdown, with bars and restaurants closing at 8pm.

Germany may impose lockdown for vaccinated

Germany’s coronavirus situation is so grave that a lockdown, including people who have been vaccinated, cannot be ruled out, the health minister said on Friday. “We are now in a situation - even if this produces a news alert - where we can’t rule anything out,” acting health minister Jens Spahn said

Germany reported 52,970 new coronavirus cases and 201 deaths on Friday, bringing total deaths to 98,739.

Russian authorities on Friday reported a record number of deaths for the third day in a row. Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 1,254 virus deaths, up 1,251 on Thursday and 1,247 on Wednesday.

Norwegian officials said on Friday the country is introducing stricter controls at border crossings, requiring everyone to register before entering the country, in a bid to tackle the rise in Covid cases.

Travellers from the UK who have gotten their third coronavirus vaccine dose will now be able to prove their status through the National Health Service’s Covid app. The change, effective on Friday, will allow travellers to enter countries including Israel, Croatia and Austria that have set time limits for the vaccines to be valid for travel without quarantining, the UK government said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad,” health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Two car-shipping carriers berthed at Sri Lanka's Chinese-built Hambantota Port.

    Was cash strapped Sri Lanka duped by China in Hambantota Port?

    The Hambantota Port is located in southern Sri Lanka close to the east-west sea route. Its construction began in 2008 which was funded through Chinese loans of about US$ 1.3 billion. The construction was carried out by a joint venture of China Harbor Engineering Company and the Sino Hydro Corporation. By 2016, the Hambantota Port under the ownership of Sri Lanka Ports Authority had incurred losses of about SLR 46.7 billion.

  • Images showed the ship's three-tube torpedo launcher and gun mount.

    US WWII destroyer found off Philippines

    A US navy destroyer sunk during World War II has been found nearly 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) below sea level off the Philippines, making it the world's deepest shipwreck ever located, an American exploration team said. A crewed submersible filmed, photographed and surveyed the battered hull of the "Sammy B" during a series of dives over eight days this month, Texas-based undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic said.

  • Taliban's urgent appeal to West after deadly earthquake ravages Afghanistan

    Taliban's urgent appeal to West after deadly earthquake ravages Afghanistan

    Afghanistan's Taliban administration on Saturday called on international governments to roll back sanctions and lift a freeze on central bank assets following the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless. The 6.1-magnitude quake that struck the east of the country early on Wednesday destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes and injured about 2,000 people, straining the country's fragile health system and posing a major test for the ruling Taliban.

  • Demonstrators hold a banner reading put down the weapons raise up the salaries, during a transportation strike called by the COBAS union, in downtown Rome.

    Fresh transport strikes hit UK, mainland Europe

    Britain's railway system once again came to a virtual standstill on Saturday and flights in Europe were disrupted as strikes in the travel sector hit the continent. Tens of thousands of rail workers in the UK staged the latest day-long walkout over pay and job security, hampering weekend plans for those already hit by similar strikes on Tuesday and Thursday.

  • More than 3,200 confirmed cases and one death have now been reported to the WHO from more than 50 countries this year.

    WHO says monkeypox not currently a global health emergency

    The World Health Organization's chief said Saturday that the monkeypox outbreak was a deeply concerning evolving threat but did not currently constitute a global health emergency. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened a committee of experts on Thursday to advise him whether to sound the UN health agency's strongest alarm over the outbreak. More than 3,200 confirmed cases and one death have now been reported to the WHO from more than 50 countries this year.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, June 26, 2022