VIENNA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- A third wave of coronavirus has already begun and Austria must do everything possible to avoid the situation the country faced last autumn, Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said on Monday.
"I see the beginning of a third wave here in Austria," Anschober told the Austrian broadcaster ORF's morning program, adding that this is noticeable "all over Europe."
The number of infections in Austria has been rising again for weeks. From Sunday to Monday, 1,896 new infections were registered in 24 hours, and the country is now back at a cumulative 7-day incidence rate of 209 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the latest data released by the Agency for Health and Food Safety.
Anschober called on the Austrian people to do everything possible to prevent the linear increase from becoming an exponential one, so that the intensive care capacities do not again reach their limits like in last autumn.
He also said that a rapid inoculation of the vaccine will be "decisive" in the fight against the pandemic.
In Austria, one person is vaccinated every 3.2 seconds and a million vaccinations have already been carried out, according to a statement published by the health ministry on Sunday.
Austria is well supplied with a total procurement of 31 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, said Anschober, adding that all those willing to get a vaccine could do so by the end of June 2021 at the latest, provided further deliveries are made as agreed.