COVID-19 in Vienna: What to do in Case of Suspected Infection?

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: February 27, 2020; 18:50 ♦ (Vindobona)

If you suspect that you are infected with the coronavirus, you should not go directly to a surgery or outpatient clinic. If an infection is suspected, those affected should clarify the further procedure via the Austrian health number 1450.

If infection is suspected, those affected should call the Health Hotline 1450. / Picture: ©

In view of the spread of coronavirus in Austria and Europe, there is great uncertainty among the population and the health hotline 1450 is particularly important as a first point of contact.

"Affected persons should under no circumstances go directly to the hospital outpatient clinic if an infection is suspected, but should stay at home, dial 1450 and coordinate the appropriate procedure," stresses the Austrian Medical Association.

"If necessary, specialised teams will be sent there to provide care and can then identify the appropriate facilities depending on the findings. As resources are currently scarce in the field of protective clothing and masks, it is absolutely necessary that doctors who are equipped with appropriate protective clothing carry out the tests", says the Austrian Medical Association.

Protecting patients and staff

It is important to avoid further infections in case of a possible infection.

"Preventing the spread and protecting other patients as well as the hospital staff has the highest priority - just to maintain health care", says the Austrian Medical Association.

Often reported complaints could already be clarified in a telephone conversation. All measures that relieve the burden on hospital outpatient departments are to be welcomed.

The upgrading and further development of the initial telephone consultation 1450 is also one of the projects in the current government programme.

"Instead of confusing the population with different hotlines, it would make much more sense to provide centralised care for patients over 1450 and, if necessary, to make appropriate resources available for this purpose," Mayer demands. "Following consultation with the Ministry of Health, general questions about the 1450 coronavirus are currently also being forwarded to the Infoline Coronavirus."

"The goal must be to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. There is a risk of infection if you stay in the waiting room for a long time. The fact that people with suspected infection do not come directly to doctors' surgeries and hospital outpatient clinics not only serves to protect fellow patients, but also to prevent infection of doctors, surgery staff and nursing staff as far as possible. This is particularly important in order to be able to continue to provide healthcare at the accustomed high level," said Steinhart.

In addition - as reported - the coronavirus hotline of the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) is available around the clock under the toll-free number 0800 555 621 seven days a week from 0-24 hours.