Coronavirus — Austria Mandates Masks, China Testing

  • The government cited the continuous increase in the number of cases of coronavirus infection in the country. 
  • On Monday, for the first time since May 29, the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations exceeded 100 in Austria.
  • The People’s Republic of China will require medical examinations of COVID-19 for all travelers arriving in the country by plane.

Protective masks will become mandatory in Austria again, starting Friday, the government announced on Tuesday. “There are areas of daily life where one cannot choose whether one goes or not – the supermarket, the bank, the post office,” Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Chancellor told a news conference.

In Austria, a pair of cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on 25 February 2020. As of July 21, there were 19,827 reported cases and 710 deaths.

The government cited the continuous increase in the number of cases of coronavirus infection in the country. “We have therefore decided that we will make face masks compulsory again in supermarkets, in banks, in post offices,” the Chancellor explained.

A country of 8.8 million people, Austria closed its borders, airports, all non-essential shops, restaurants, schools, and universities in mid-March in a bid to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country then gradually reopened its stores and made it mandatory to wear a mask in supermarkets in early April, before relaxing preventive measures further. The mask was only mandatory in pharmacies, public transportation, and in barber and hairdresser shops.

On Monday, for the first time since May 29, the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations exceeded 100 in Austria, where 710 people have so far died from the COVID-19 disease. Fewer than 20,000 contaminations were recorded by Tuesday.

Outbreaks have recently occurred in and near the capital, Vienna, as well as in the state of Upper Austria, which borders Germany and the Czech Republic. Some of these outbreaks are linked to churches, and Austria has reported an increase in cases imported from the Balkans. Therefore, it has issued travel warnings for countries in the region.

Kurz said stricter testing requirements would be introduced for people coming from the Balkans, and restrictions would be applied to reduce the size of religious services. In the event of a positive coronavirus test, he would order the closure of churches.

The COVID-19 pandemic originated with a cluster of mysterious, suspected pneumonia cases in the city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, China. As of July 21, there have been 83,707 reported cases and 4,634 deaths from COVID-19.

China: Mandatory Tests on Passengers Before Entering

The People’s Republic of China will require medical examinations of COVID-19 for all travelers arriving in the country by plane, the Civil Aviation Administration said today. Medical tests to determine whether or not one is infected with the new coronavirus have to be carried out at authorized medical centers, and will be presented at the various embassies of the People’s Republic of China.

At the time of boarding, it will be the employees of the aviation company responsible for the flight who will prove the health code (QR) of Chinese citizens, or the certificate issued to foreign passengers.  If the code or certificate is not presented, passengers won’t be allowed to fly to the Asian country.

Chinese authorities warn that holders of forged documents or certificates would be subjected to the full force of the law. The People’s Republic of China has kept it’s land borders practically closed, having suspended the validity of visas and residence permits for foreign citizens.

Currently, only people who perform functions considered “essential” are allowed to enter the country.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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