Corona in Austria – Day 4

Yesterday saw the turning point in Central Europe. In Vienna there were the first three confirmed infections of the virus. The first of these concerned a 72-year-old man who had been in the hospital with flu symptoms for ten days. Three departments in this hospital were then blocked and the man was transferred to the quarantine station of a special clinic. It is not known where he was infected, his condition is serious.

In Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer went public and announced the establishment of a crisis team. In Austria, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober and Interior Minister Karl Nehammer made a statement to the parliament. In Germany, all people will be interviewed and checked upon entry and tests for the virus will be carried out for asylum seekers. The aim of the measures would be to “break the chain of infection”. In Austria it has become known that a member of the Foreign Minister’s delegation, who visited Iran over the weekend, is now in quarantine with suspected infection by the virus. Slovakia announced controls on the Austrian border.

This morning Germany’s “Spiegel” reports: “First corona case in Hesse”, the “Zeit” writes “The number of corona cases is increasing rapidly” and the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” summarizes: “It will be bad”. In Switzerland, the “NZZ” reports: “The Federal Council classifies the situation in Switzerland as a special situation and prohibits events for over 1,000 people.”

In Austria, the “Kurier” writes: “Companies are gearing up for an emergency” and “One study says: Austria is not well prepared for corona virus.” In the United States, the Washington Post reports: “Fears of coronavirus pandemic slam global markets as Japanese region declares state of emergengy.” And ntv reports from the Vatican: “Pope coughs. Official audiences canceled.”

As our Chancellor said on ORF television last night: “That doesn’t mean that you should panic.”

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