In an urgent request, the SPÖ wants to know from the Chancellor and Health Minister, among other things, whether they can rule out another lockdown for everyone. Virologist Steininger is pessimistic about an early lockdown end.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) said on Tuesday when answering an “urgent request” from the SPÖ in the Federal Council that there is “no end date for unvaccinated people” with the current lockdown. But it is up to everyone to get vaccinated. Once again Schallenberg emphasized that the measure was an “imposition” for the vaccinated because they would have to limit themselves again.

Schallenberg defended the measures taken and spoke of “difficult decisions” which the federal government “did not make easy” for itself. The top priority is to protect people and to get as many people as possible to be vaccinated, says Schallenberg: “This is the only way we can escape the lockdowns that are necessary again and again.” The nationwide lockdown, which now applies for 20 days and is to be evaluated after ten days, is the result of a “solidarity” across party lines and between the federal and state governments.

Schallenberg: “Have to face reality”

The Chancellor also defended the planned compulsory vaccination. The previous measures would not have been sufficient to increase the willingness to vaccinate to the necessary extent. For a long time there was a consensus not to introduce compulsory vaccinations and to rely on conviction. “But now we have to face reality.” The fact that the vaccination rate in Austria is comparatively low is due to a “special circumstance”, because in this country there are “far too many political forces who are publicly fighting against vaccination and making people insecure. That is irresponsible,” he said in the direction of the liberal Fraction.

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The virologist at MedUni Vienna, Christoph Steininger, said in the meantime in the “Kurier” (Wednesday edition) that he does not expect the general lockdown to end as planned on December 12th for vaccinated people. According to government plans, trade, gastronomy & Co. should reopen for vaccinated and convalescent people from December 13th. “Just as little believe in that as in the Christ Child”, so the co-founder of the “Alles gurgelt” -PCR tests in the “Kurier” (Wednesday edition). Soon the “critical limit of 600 intensive care beds will be reached”. In the next two weeks, the numbers would continue to rise.

At the moment, the lockdown is simply “too little radical, so that great positive effects can be achieved in the intensive care units within three weeks. Therefore, he is” not very optimistic “that there will be a normal life again in mid-December, at least for those who have been vaccinated.” That will hardly be possible, “said the virologist.

Mückstein plans action to convince vaccine skeptics

Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) also defended the decisions for lockdown and mandatory vaccination and appealed: “Let us pull together.” The lockdown is burdensome, but a “reliable tool to break the wave”. Mückstein again emphasized that the compulsory vaccination must be drawn up with the involvement of experts, social partners and civil society and that there should be a “proper assessment procedure”. However, he left the question of the timing of implementation unanswered. In order to convince vaccine skeptics, Mückstein pointed to an action planned for the beginning of December. The umbrella organization of the social insurance will send letters with specific vaccination dates and an explanation of the risk of the disease to all unvaccinated persons.

He has no data on the effectiveness of the worming agent ivermectin, so Mückstein answered a question: “But there are the first poisonings”. In addition, it is not approved for treatment, and the manufacturer has meanwhile also issued an explicit warning.

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SPÖ locates “total failure of the federal government”

The special meeting was held at the request of the SPÖ, which addressed two “urgent inquiries” entitled “Corona total failure of the federal government” to Schallenberg and Mückstein. Korinna Schumann and Ingo Appé justified the urgent issues for the Social Democrats. “We are facing a total corona failure of the federal government,” said Schumann. To overslept the second summer and to go full throttle towards lockdown in autumn, completely unprepared, “is a shame”. Schumann blamed former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for what, in their opinion, was a devastating record, because he was only interested in the “political show” and not in effective pandemic management.

And Schallenberg, as his successor, is now acting in the sense of Kurz, according to Schumann: “Party politics is placed above human life.” Increasing poll numbers at the expense of incidences is negligent. The inconsistent government policy has led to a patchwork of patches among the federal states. Schumann also criticized the quarrels within the turquoise-green federal government (“Such public disputes are unsustainable in a crisis”) and spoke of a “chronicle of failure”. Appé saw a “bankruptcy declaration” as well as a “bankruptcy, bad luck and breakdown series” in the balance sheet of Turquoise-Green.

The SPÖ also locates a political failure of turquoise-green in achieving the necessary vaccination quota. Compared to other European countries such as Malta, Spain or Portugal, all of which have vaccinated well over 80 percent of their population, this is particularly “clear”. Corona management is also “flawed” in the education sector. In general, the actions and communication of the federal government are consistently “inconsistent”. Schumann and Appé also criticized the FPÖ, which played down the disease. The SPÖ put a total of 87 questions to Schallenberg and Mückstein.

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