COVID-19 has led to the world's largest virus-related crisis in recent decades. Like many other countries, Austria was inadequately prepared for a pandemic in some areas, although the occurrence of one was not unforeseeable. Prior to 2019, the Epidemic Act 1950 was the relevant legal basis for measures against the spread of disease. However, this is not up to date and not designed for pandemics . Pandemic planning in Austria to date has focused on specific pathogens and has been reactive rather than preventive. One of the difficulties that became apparent at the very beginning of the pandemic was how to deal with generally or globally missing or uncertain medical and epidemiological information: Among other things, there were major uncertainties regarding the actual mortality rate, the onset and duration of the infectious period, and the role of asymptomatically infected persons . These uncertainties hampered decision making regarding effective interventions and contributed to the multitude of different strategies that were used, sometimes within the same country, leading to mixed success in a "trial and error" mode . To better address this issue in the future, ROADS will develop a foundation for optimized risk and crisis management for future pandemics/epidemics from a whole-of-society perspective.
Last updated: 15.02.2023