2 Million Participants at First Covid Mass Testing

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: December 14, 2020; 20:25 ♦ (Vindobona)

The first mass testing in Austria is in the books. Over the last two weeks, about two million people have been to one of the many testing facilities in Austria in order to find out about their Covid-19 infection status. Only 4,200 have been tested positive which is only about 0.2 percent of the participants.

The Covid-19 mass testing conducted over the past two weeks counted about 2 million participants. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

The first mass testing was concluded on the weekend and total results are now available.

In total, the testing counted 2 million participants in the first mass testing in Austria.

About 4,200 positive test results (already after second testing) were detected, thus 4,200 people without symptoms but with infection could be taken out of the infection cycle.

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober:

"4,200 people who otherwise, without knowing it, would have infected other people. That is the real purpose of mass testing, to remove as many asymptomatic people as possible from the infection cycle and thus reduce the incidence of infection."

The Health Minister thanks all supporting organizations and tens of thousands of supporters for the preparation and implementation:

"Within a very short time, perfect mass tests were realized - a big thank you to the soldiers, the many volunteers, the blue light organizations, the police officers and the employees of the health authorities. Everyone has done an impressive job."

He said that these first mass tests can now be well built upon and developed further - for a second round after the holidays, for testing of occupational groups that are in intensive contact with others, and for testing of regions with particularly high levels of infection.

"2 million tests through mass testing in light of 3.5 million tests conducted to date represents great progress. We will maintain and strengthen our strategy in all areas of increased testing and continue it more vigorously: in symptomatic people, through screening programs such as those in nursing homes and homes for the elderly, and through mass testing," stated Anschober.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also announced the second round of mass testing for early January.

These tests will take place from 8 to 10 January, in Vienna even until 17 January.

Body-related service providers and professional groups such as teachers would have to be tested every 2 weeks starting January 8.

The groups would be determined by the government together with the social partners.

These measures should apply at least for the early part of the new year, he said.

"The more we test, the greater the chance that we can prevent another lockdown or at least push it back," the Chancellor said.

He added that a relaxation of the measures would only be possible through vaccinations, but that only a "manageable amount of tranches" could be expected in the first quarter of 2021.

The goal is still to vaccinate a large percentage of the elderly population as quickly as possible, the Chancellor concluded.