This was announced by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday. The samples would be taken directly from the waste water tanks of the aircraft, so that new virus variants could be detected particularly precisely, it said. In addition, the wastewater treatment plant from Hallstatt is to be included in the federal wastewater monitoring system. The sewage treatment plants in Vienna and Salzburg are already part of the federal monitoring program.
According to the Ministry of Health, all places frequently visited by tourists from China would be regularly examined. This could be used to discover new virus variants, even if visitors from China entered the country by other means. “In contrast to China, which has so far been characterized by a zero-Covid strategy, in Austria we are registering broad immunity against the omicron variant, which also dominates in China,” said the Ministry of Health in a statement.
Compulsory corona tests for travelers from China, such as those introduced by the EU countries Italy, France and Spain, are still not planned. To this end, Austria is orienting itself towards a coordinated European approach, it said on Tuesday. A meeting of the IPCR crisis response mechanism will take place in Brussels on Wednesday, at which the EU countries will again discuss how to deal with travelers from China.
The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) is responsible for sequencing the wastewater samples from the aircraft arriving from China.
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