Austria has broken the record for daily Coronavirus cases since the beginning of this year again, with 3,515 new infections reported on Friday.
The death toll rose by 42 to 9,024, while 1,834 people are receiving hospital treatment, 397 of them in intensive care, according to the Interior Ministry.
The Alpine country has had a total of 508,096 infections so far.
“It is very clear that we and all of Europe are in the third Coronavirus wave,’’ Health Minister Rudolf Anschober told a constituent meeting of newly-elected Supreme Sanitary Council.
He called the current situation “alarming’’, saying that 80 per cent to 90 per cent of new infections in eastern Austria could be traced back to the much more aggressive and contagious variant first detected in Britain.
He also noted that there were increasing numbers of young people in intensive care units as a result of the advance of the variant.
The Austrian government welcomed the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) decision in favour of the AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine, made on Thursday.
“It is important that the EMA made a clear decision today, continuation of the vaccination with vaccine from AstraZeneca and corresponding adjustments to the technical information for the vaccine, are the basic message,’’ Anschober said.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also said during his visit to Berlin on Thursday that he hoped this would bring some reassurance and ease the uncertainty among the population.