The first suspected case of the new Omikron variant of the coronavirus in the country has already been confirmed, according to the virologist Dorothee von Laer. In addition, there are also 30 other suspected cases that still need to be clarified.
In a subordinate sentence, ORF presenter Claudia Reiterer reported on the definitive evidence of the possibly more dangerous Corona variant. Shortly before the “In the center” discussion, she phoned the virologist Dorothee von Laer, who works in Tyrol – she told her that the previous suspicion had not only been confirmed, there were also 30 other cases that now require clarification The confirmed case concerns a person in the Schwaz district who had recently returned from a trip from South Africa. According to information from the state of Tyrol, the double-vaccinated person has so far only been at home and has so far shown no symptoms. However, there was no official confirmation from the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) on Sunday evening. In any case, it seemed to be only a matter of time before a corresponding case became known in Austria. Over the course of Sunday, more and more cases of infection with the new variant became known worldwide. As a result, numerous states felt compelled to tighten their entry regulations even further. Entry to Israel or Morocco is even temporarily banned. The WHO classified the Omikron variant as “worrying” on Friday evening. Since the outbreak of the wild type SARS-CoV-2, no variant has had as many mutations. The EU health authority ECDC speaks of serious concerns that the variant could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the corona vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections. The exact effects of the new mutation have not yet been determined. According to the WHO, it may take weeks until this is clear. Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) called on all travelers from the affected areas of South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia or Eswatini to join on Friday to report to a specially set up AGES hotline. Under 01/2675032 you can get information about a necessary PCR test and how to proceed. The service was already very well received – within one day around 300 return travelers had contacted the office.