Wastewater from the treatment plant in Hallstatt will be tested for corona viruses in the future. The information was released by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday. The background is the huge corona wave in China. The controls also hit flights from China.
Online since today, 13:33
In view of the huge corona wave in China, the wastewater of all flights from China will be tested for new variants of the virus in Austria starting next week. The information was released by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday. Samples would be taken directly from the aircraft’s wastewater tanks so that new variants of the virus could be accurately detected, he said. In addition, the Hallstatt wastewater treatment plant will be included in the federal wastewater monitoring system.
Frequently visited places
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 variants of the virus, even if visitors from China entered the country through other means. “Unlike China, which until now has been characterized by a Covid-zero strategy, in Austria we are registering broad immunity against the omicron variant, which also dominates in China,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
No test obligation
Mandatory corona tests for travelers from China, like those introduced by EU countries Italy, France and Spain, are not yet planned. To this end, Austria is moving towards a coordinated European approach, it said on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a meeting of the IPCR crisis response mechanism will take place in Brussels, where EU countries will again discuss how to deal with travelers from China. The Austrian Food Safety and Health Agency (AGES) is responsible for sequencing the wastewater samples from aircraft arriving from China.