1. Preventing transmission
The section on PREVENTING TRANSMISSION includes information on key public health measures that aim to prevent the further spread of the disease. It details how countries are advising the general public and people who (might) have the disease to prevent further spread, as well as measures in place to test and identify cases, trace contacts, and monitor the scale of the outbreak.
1.1 Health communication
Official advice on hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing was issued from the beginning of the outbreak in February 2020. The Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection (Ministry of Health) provides comprehensive information on its website (www.sozialministerium.at) including general information about the virus, information about measures taken and statistical information such as number of people infected, number of people tested, number of deaths and others. An additional dashboard provided by the Ministry of Health delivers statistical data updated at regular intervals (https://info.gesundheitsministerium.at/).
Additional information and support are available for health professionals. Since the end of February, specialized telephone hotlines for questions on COVID-19 and management of suspicious cases were set up. In addition, various public online portals (see e.g. sozialversicherung.at, gesundheit.gv.at) provide information for health professionals.
Information on personal safety measures is distributed through different channels such as newspapers, radio and TV-spots. They are provided by public institutions such as public media, different ministries, health insurance institutions as well as private initiatives.
Since mid-March the government has been holding frequent press conferences on statistics, prognostics and measures. Government messaging stresses the severity of the current situation and the importance of complying with the measures.