Confirmed COVID-19 cases increase to five in Austria

Two more coronavirus cases were confirmed in Vienna later on Thursday, bringing the total number of the confirmed cases in Austria to five.

In addition to a 72-year-old man who is seriously ill, a couple from Vienna also tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Vienna Hospital Association (KAV).

The couple and their two children are in the Kaiser-Franz-Josef Hospital in the evening. The children, whose test results are pending, also show mild symptoms.

According to local media, the couple had developed symptoms since they returned from vacation in northern Italy’s Lombardy, the most affected area so far along with Veneto in the northeast.

“We expect the numbers to increase further,” said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at a press briefing.

A meeting was held in the Federal Chancellery with the governors, experts from the Ministry of Health and the Interior earlier Thursday. The capacities in the federal states should be increased as best as possible, said Kurz. A total of 1,000 tests per day are possible.

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober announced regulations and decrees so that suspected cases are treated uniformly across Austria. These are to come into force by decree Friday and include the areas of kindergartens, schools, businesses, traffic use and behavior in the private sphere.

The minister pointed out that it does not make the situation any easier as the flu is currently raging and the symptoms are very similar to those of a coronavirus infection.

Since last weekend, flu patients in hospitals in Vienna have also tested for the coronavirus, said Vienna City Councilor Peter Hacker on the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) program “Vienna Today”.