Only test with symptoms – Corona measures end, free vaccination remains

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With the draft of the Covid-19 Transfer Act, the Ministry of VWS presented its plan for the gradual reduction of the corona measures on Wednesday (assessment period until 3 May). There are no surprises: the corona vaccination remains free, free tests may only be used to clarify whether patients with symptoms need Covid medication. The wastewater monitoring is supplemented with other pathogens.

According to the draft, all measures from the currently applicable Covid 19 Measures Act and the associated special provisions in the Epidemic Act must expire at the latest by the end of June, after which the current traffic restrictions will lapse in the event of a corona infection. also end. The mask obligation in hospitals, retirement homes and nursing homes and doctors’ practices and the exemption of risk groups will expire on April 30. The former special legal status compared to other non-notifiable communicable respiratory diseases is “no longer appropriate” given the high level of basal immunity in the population and the associated mild course of the disease, the draft explains. In the future, therefore, corona should be treated in the standard structures that also apply to other non-notifiable infectious diseases.

Mask obligation still possible locally
At the same time, individual measures that have proven their worth in the corona pandemic should be preserved in other epidemics. For example, within an epidemic area with a particularly high risk of the spread of a notifiable disease, it must be able to impose a mask obligation, in addition to other restrictions that are already possible. In addition, the law contains an ordinance for the Minister of Health to compensate for a shortage of health personnel in epidemiological or other crisis situations through special arrangements. Doctors who are not on the doctor’s list are therefore allowed to work for a limited time with a doctor who is authorized to practice their profession independently. According to the explanatory notes, doctors from Ukraine are also being considered, for whom, according to the recommendations of the Fundamental Rights Agency, easier access to the medical profession should be developed.

As announced, free corona tests for asymptomatic people will be a thing of the past in July. Free tests are then only done by the doctor to determine further treatment steps (especially with corona remedies). An antigen test is always used. Every fifth positive test result is also verified by PCR to enable sequencing to identify new virus variants.

Vaccinations remain free
As an “effective tool” in the fight against corona, the Ministry of Health continues to rely on the corona vaccination, especially in the private sector. After the National Vaccination Commission continues to recommend vaccination, including regular boosters, and medical practices are very busy in autumn and winter, a wide range of additional vaccinations should also become available in order to be able to vaccinate efficiently and efficiently in a short time. a large number of vaccinations via vaccination centres, vaccination buses or mobile vaccination teams or administering vaccinations. The federal states and municipalities should continue to receive subsidies for this and the ministry expects 23.4 million euros for the 2023/24 vaccination season.

In order to systematically monitor the infection process in Austria, the Ministry of Health also wants to continue to rely on wastewater monitoring in currently 48 sewage treatment plants. These early detection and monitoring systems should be explicitly enshrined in the Epidemic Act. In addition to corona, the monitoring is gradually being expanded with new components, in particular severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and acute respiratory infections (ARI). In addition, it should be ensured that corona data that is already available for scientific purposes of overriding public interest can also be processed for a limited period after 30 June.

Source: Krone

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