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Austria pushes COVID-19 co-operation with ‘smart countries’

Austria pushes COVID-19 co-operation with ‘smart countries’

The Austrian government is ready to re-establish the common ties with the ‘smart countries’, said Sebastian Kurz. Following Friday videoconference with several other EU leaders, Chancellor confirmed exchanging ideas on fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the cohort of ‘smart countries’ Mr Kurz put Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Greece. The top Austrian official said these nations like Austria have reacted “quickly and intensively” and so have come through the crisis better than others.

“The geography (of the countries concerned) is very different but they are smaller countries, smart countries,” Kurz said, adding that the conference had focused on “how countries can best start up again, stimulate the economy and keep the virus under control at the same time,” Kurz explained.

In fact, several EU countries have demonstrated their own approach to keep the epidemiological situation under control. In Denmark, prime minister Mette Frederiksen confirmed her country hoped to foster “strategic co-operation to become self-sufficient in protective equipment, medical devices and vaccines”.

Chancellor Kurz also said researchers from the countries in the group would be co-operating on work towards a possible vaccine and other treatments, The Local Austria reports.

The aim was for the countries concerned to avoid becoming dependent on global superpowers in reacting to the coronacrisis.

By the way, the Asian country Singapore is also part of the group but its prime minister could not take part in the conference due to technical difficulties.

Kurz: Austria has escaped the worst of the coronacrisis

So far, Austria was lucky to escape the worst of the COVID-19 crisis with a relatively low number of infections at just over 15,000, and 530 deaths.

After moving into nationwide lockdown in mid-March, three weeks after recording its first cases of the novel pathogen, Austria has been gradually easing restrictions over the past two weeks.

On Friday, Kurz’s government has announced its latest move in this direction – with a staggered re-opening of schools planned from May 4 onwards.

Despite the calm epidemiological prognosis, the ministers have stressed that lockdown measures may have to be re-introduced if infections rates start to climb again.