With an explosion of cases, Austria decrees a lockdown for not

Europe was once again the epicenter of covid-19. The “fourth wave”, as it has been called, is the result of the expansion of the delta variant, but, essentially, of another aggravating factor: the continent is facing an epidemic of the unvaccinated.

In Austria, a country with one of the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe, the government decided to impose, this Sunday (14), a lockdown for millions of people who have not yet been immunized against covid-19.

The confinement, announced by Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, is an attempt to curb the significant increase in virus infections.

This Saturday (13), there were more than 13 thousand new cases of the disease registered in the country – the biggest record since the beginning of the pandemic, two and a half years ago.

“The percentage of vaccination is shamefully low and without increasing it we will not be able to get out of this vicious circle”, said Schallenberg at the press conference where the new measure was announced, valid from Monday (15).

Currently in the country, approximately 65% ​​of the population is fully immunized. The rate is below the continental average, which is 67%, and far below countries like Spain, with 79%.

Negationism

Contrary to the measure, thousands of protesters gathered this Sunday without masks in protest against the Government’s decision. This was the case in Innsbruck, in the west of the country.

The demonstrations are called by far-right parties, such as the Freedom Party, which was ahead of other denial demonstrations throughout the health and economic crisis. In Salzburg, protests started yesterday (13), even when the measure had not been made official.

The new lockdown imposed by the Austrian government, with inspections of “unprecedented magnitude”, affects nearly 2 million people in a country of 8.9 million inhabitants and is valid for citizens over 12 years of age. Those who are not vaccinated will only be able to leave the house to practice physical activities, receive medical assistance, or shop.

Austria currently has a covid-19 infection rate of 775.5 new cases per 100,000 population. The number is much higher than that of Germany, with 289 cases, a country that is also concerned about the intensification of the pandemic.

Edition: Lucas Weber

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