Austria attentively reopening from coronavirus under Chancellor Kurz
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of Austria under Chancellor Sebastian Kurz took measures to contain the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis before it became too late. Hence, while the numbers of deaths are extraordinarily high in France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom – and growing in Belgium – the same doesn’t apply to Austria. Therefore, Kurz is gradually re-opening Austria where currently 384 people have perished from the virus blighting so many nations.
Kurz, known for his own innovative style to politics, and an individual who takes accountability for any failings, believes that Austria is on the right path. Thus, the gradual re-opening of society is now happening even if restrictions and caution persist.
The BBC reports, “Austria was one of the first European countries to follow neighboring Italy in imposing strict lockdown measures about a month ago, and the government says it has managed to flatten the curve of new infections. It has so far reported about 14,000 cases and 368 deaths.”
Margarete Schramböck, the Minister of Economy, is taking a similar approach to that of Kurz. She uttered, “Experience in countries that have handled it well has taught us that we have to move gradually.”
Kurz is targeting May 1 for opening major shops, shopping centers, and other areas of the economy. Equally, he plans to open hotels and restaurants by the middle of May or slightly later. Of course, much will depend on the continuous containment of coronavirus. Therefore, the leader of Austria, Schramböck, and other politicians are watching events carefully.
Kurz said, “If the figures continue to go in the right direction, then the next step will take place on 1 May. If we are not successful, then we must pull the emergency brake.”
Irrespective of developments over the next few weeks, it appears that the Kurz administration is handling the situation to a higher degree than the worse hit European nations. After all, it seems that Spain and the United Kingdom, and others, just watched and then took action once coronavirus was already entrenched.
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