Jan 8 (Reuters) – Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Saturday he was well and had no COVID-19 symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus this week, vowing to do everything possible to prevent another nationwide lockdown.
Nehammer, a conservative who has received three vaccine shots, has been conducting official business from home via video and telephone conferences since he tested positive.
“Thanks to the vaccine, thank goodness, I’m doing well,” he told Austrian radio in an interview. “I don’t have any symptoms.”
“The studies verify that with the Omicron variant, three vaccination doses give particular protection. That’s been my experience too,” said Nehammer, who will not attend any public appointments in the next few days.
He was apparently infected on Wednesday following contact with a member of his security team who tested positive on Thursday, the chancellery said on Friday.
Nehammer, 49, announced new measures this week to curb the spread of the coronavirus and pressed on with plans to make vaccination mandatory from next month.
“The priority now is using the strongest possible protection measures for everyone to try to prevent a new lockdown. Because a lockdown is very burdensome for people,” he said on Saturday.
Austria’s interior ministry registered 7,405 new coronavirus cases on Saturday. Since the start of the pandemic, 13,844 people have died in the country after contracting the virus. (Reporting by John Revill in Zurich Editing by Helen Popper)