Austria confirms two Omicron variant cases; 4th wave already being experienced

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AUSTRIA confirmed that there are already two cases in the country with the Omicron variant, and that it is already experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases.

This is amid the rise in active COVID-19 cases and the two cases with the Omicron variant in two federal states in the country.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Deena Joy Amatong, Chargé d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Vienna, Austria said that it was only yesterday that they got confirmation of the two Omicron variant cases.

The government of Austria has already imposed travel restrictions among countries in southern Africa.

There is also a landing ban being imposed in the country that is the same as the travel restrictions being implemented in other countries because of the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, Amatong said the Austrian government decided yesterday to extend by 10 days, or up to December 11, the implementation of hard lockdowns that were earlier imposed in November 22.

This means establishments and businesses not considered as essentials will remain closed, such as restaurants, cafes, museums and others, she said.

What will remain open are grocery stores, pharmacies or drug stores, banks and postal service providers, she added.

Amatong said that Austria logged more than 10,000 new COVID-19 infections yesterday, which brought overall COVID-19 infections in the country to 167,000 active cases.

This is considered alarming considering that Austria only has a 9 million population.

Regarding the situation in hospitals, Amatong said that 644 out of the total 2,000 ICU beds are already occupied by COVID-19 patients, equivalent to 31-percent occupancy.

One reason she pointed out in the big jump in COVID-19 cases is because of increased mobility or travel to the country because of the summer season and early autumn.

The Austrian government is already strictly monitoring the situation.

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