All of Austria’s daily newspapers appeared on Sunday with a full-page advertisement from the federal government on the cover: “Look at yourself, stay at home. Especially when you are over 65. ”At midnight on Monday, the government brought business and social life to a standstill. For a week for the time being, but it is clear to everyone that the state of emergency becomes permanent.
Austria is taking drastic measures compared to countries more affected by the corona pandemic. In a special session, the National Council even issued a de facto ban on going out: unanimously.
Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober (Greens) is not a man who spreads panic. On the contrary: his level-headed manner has provided reassurance from the start of the crisis, but has not reduced the extent of the threat. The carelessness with which the Tyrolean ski areas ignored the dangers of evening conviviality for weeks has led to entire valleys being quarantined.
Such conditions should be avoided in the rest of Austria. That’s why you learn from China and South Korea, whose measures seemed exaggerated to many, but which meant that the peak of new infections had already been exceeded.
Austria with its approximately 800 infected so far and only one fatality is far from the peak. It’s about dampening the exponential spread of the virus. The great understanding with which the population has accepted the restrictions shows that this message has been received. The economy is also cooperative.
Not least because Finance Minister Gernot Blumel has abandoned the dogma of zero deficit (black zero) and hinted that a 4 billion euro package to save jobs and vulnerable companies is just the beginning of state support. The government is just showing that it can not only stage production and appease the voters, but also act sensibly in an emergency.