November 16, 2020


Austria enacts tough Lockdown due to Second Wave

Austria enacts tough Lockdown: “Throughout Europe, the second wave is more dynamic, more powerful and harder than the first,” said Austrian Minister of Health and Social Affairs Rudof Anschober on Saturday, as he and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz addressed a journalists panel on Saturday morning, to discuss the new lockdown measures planned for this week.

  • Austria announces new general lockdown in the face of resurging COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WHO had recently advised against lockdown measures to deal with the Pandemic.
  • Top European politicians face up-hill battle with anti-lockdown opposition groups across the board.

Similar to many other European countries, Austria has recently faced a severe surge in Coronavirus cases, following a general relaxation of the policies that had been in place since the onset of the world pandemic. In view of the sudden crisis, Austrian authorities announced the enactment of rigorous new measures, scheduled to be put into action on Tuesday, November 17th, 2020.

A report issued Friday by Austria’s health authorities showed 9,586 new infections detected in one single day.

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Second Covid Wave Hits Europe

The new spike in detected coronavirus cases has prompted the enactment of harsh social contact restrictions throughout the whole European continent. In Austria’s case, starting Tuesday, a 24-hour curfew begins, with only outings for basic necessities allowed, such as that of buying the home groceries. Non-essential workers will have to work from home, if possible.

Austria’s new health impositions resemble those of countries like Italy and France. In the latter’s case, schools have been ordered to close indefinitely; drug stores, food shops and banks will remain open, however with a reduced number of effective working hours. Meanwhile, Switzerland is eyeing up the option of shutting down restaurants and pubs and Greece has also moved to close schools and other social gathering spots.

But, Why the Second Lockdown? When the World Health Organization asked not too long ago to avoid going the way of a full-fledged lockdown? The UN-backed entity had also pointed out that restricting the movement of citizens was resulting in harmful and long-lasting economic repercussions in locked-down countries, further increasing the number of people suffering from joblessness and/or hunger.

In spite of the imminent arrival of a Covid-19 vaccine, world leaders like Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Kurz are insisting on the application of quarantine-type measures as the best means to fight the expansion of the pandemic, preferring to “keep it safe” as they wait for the first competent vaccine shot to hit the international medical market.

Europe’s leaders now face a gargantuan challenge ahead as they try to balance out the growing anger of their local conservative parties, who strongly object to the application of lockdown measures, and the insistence of the ruling Left-leaning parties in extending them.

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