July 2, 2022

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COVID in Spain, live today: microns, restrictions, vaccines, new strains... |  last minute

COVID in Spain, live today: microns, restrictions, vaccines, new strains… | last minute

Austrian free testing strategy failed to curb the pandemic

While getting tested for covid-19 is difficult or expensive in most parts of the world, Austria offers unlimited free testing to all of its citizens, costly strategy It did not prevent high rises in hospitalization or the shutdown of the economy and social life.

It has a population of 8.9 million, Austria has so far carried out about 140 million PCR and antigen tests, more than 10 times more than countries with a population of more than 10, Such as Germany or Turkey, and ranks second in the world after Cyprus in relation to its demographics: An average of 15 tests per person. The capital, Vienna, with a population of 1.9 million, has developed an infrastructure capable of running nearly 500,000 free PCR tests per day, more than all of neighboring Germany, which has a population of 80 million.

In Austrian schools, students must undergo three weekly tests, both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antigens, Which does not excuse them from wearing an FFP2 mask in class. In Vienna there are 30 points and more than 250 pharmacies where you can get a free PCR, the results of which are received in less than 24 hours.

The Austrian state spent about 1,600 million euros on tests in 2021. An investment that many experts see as unjustified, In light of the fact that the accumulated infections exceed the European average, last November was one of the highest in the world and the number of hospitalizations was several times higher than in countries with much less testing. “These non-selective tests do little to control the epidemic. We spend billions without any real benefit to health,” this was recently criticized by the head of internal medicine at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Gunter Weiss.

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