First Corona cases in Vienna: emergency plan comes into force

If a coronavirus infection is suspected, those affected should not go directly to the hospital or to the doctor, but rather call the health hotline 1450 – this is an essential message of the emergency plan that is presented in Vienna today by the medical association and health authorities. The hotline is also the first point of contact in the other federal states (see also page 3).

The virus had previously reached Vienna yesterday: the first confirmed case was a 72-year-old who had been hospitalized for ten days because of flu symptoms at the Rudolf Foundation. The positive coronavirus test was only done this week.

Vienna’s City Councilor for Health Peter Hacker (SP) and the medical director of the Vienna Hospital Association (KAV), Michael Binder, informed about the further procedure in the presence of Minister of Health Rudi Anschober (Green). Hackers and Binder also defended that the man had not been tested earlier: there was no evidence of a trip to risk areas, so he was classified as a “normal flu case”.

It has now been shown that the 72-year-old is “seriously ill” and is being ventilated artificially. After his infection became known, three departments were blocked and the patient transferred to the Kaiser Franz Josef Hospital (KFJ). All employees of the Rudolf Foundation who were in direct contact with him were brought home and have to stay in Quarantne for 14 days. Those close relatives who visited the man are also under quarantine.

Despite contact, only those who have symptoms are tested for the corona virus. It is “not very useful” to test healthy people, said Binder. “It is better to send them to quarantine in the house and wait for any symptoms to develop.” So far, “not a single further suspected case” was among those affected.

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However, clarification of potential locations and sources of infection in the 800-bed hospital was still ongoing yesterday afternoon.

All those bound to foreclosure would “behave very cooperatively”, but there is no guarantee that the quarantine will be kept, said Hacker. In the “case of doubt”, he did not rule out police support including the use of force. At the same time, he tried to calm down: one was far from a pandemic, but “prepared” for it.

Several suspected cases

The fact that the situation in Vienna is very confusing was shown by the fact that other very specific suspicious cases were reported at the press conference. Including a man who was recently in Iran and was in hospital quarantine with strong symptoms for clarification. Explosive: He is said to have been a member of the delegation during Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg’s visit to Iran.

Two suspicious cases were confirmed in the evening: a man who was on vacation in Lombardy with his wife and two children was tested positive. The coronavirus was also detected in the wife. Both are said to have “mild disease symptoms”. They were brought to the Kaiser Franz Josef Hospital with their children, who are still being watched. Your environment is currently under quarantine.

A rule for all of Austria

With a decree from Health Minister Rudi Anschober (Grne), all nine federal states are now committed to a uniform approach in the fight against the corona virus. This was the result of a summit by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (VP) with Thomas Stelzer (VP), who is currently the chairman of the state governors’ conference.

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At the beginning of the schedule for a suspected corona case, for example in a school or kindergarten, there is “an on-site test”. In the “three to four hours” until clarification, students and teachers must stay at school. Then, depending on the result, the next steps will be decided, Anschober said.

There would also be a uniform regulation with regard to protective equipment in the spitlers. At the moment, “the stores are full,” said Stelzer. The need would be secured by nationwide procurement.


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