How An Austrian Ski Resort Became The Centre Of Europe’s Covid-19 Outbreak

How An Austrian Ski Resort Became The Centre Of Europe’s Covid-19 Outbreak

The first case of Coronavirus in Europe was reported on the 25th of January, and currently, there have been around 4 million cases recorded in the continent. It had been a disastrous time, not only for the Europeans but for the world entire as well. Currently, the cases are subsiding. The situation across Europe is changing for the better largely due to the strict implementation of SOPs and the consistent hard work of medical professionals. As the world reels from the COVID-19 pandemic and things return to normalcy, it may be worth it to look back and find out how the virus spread across Europe in the first place and where the hotspots originate.

Ischgl, known as the “Ibiza of the Alps,” is a renowned vacation ski resort village nestled high in the Austrian Alps. It draws around half a million visitors each year, and even some celebrities have made their way here in the past. Unfortunately, coronavirus cases have been labeled a hotspot as many recorded infections originate from this resort. Henrik Lerfeldt, a visitor who had come to spend his vacations here, was among the hundreds of people from all over Europe whose infections were traced to this ski resort. The Icelandic government announced that some of its nationals had contracted the virus on the 4th of March. However, despite such a warning, operations resumed as usual.

It is unknown how exactly the virus spread, but the Tyrol government’s negligence to effectively quarantine the resort attracted widespread criticism. The bartender at a well-known bar tested positive for the virus on the 7th of March, but the local government downplayed it and took no measures to mitigate the spread. The officials insisted that it was “rather unlikely from a medical point of view.” for the transmission to occur. As usual, the resort operated, the skiing was proceeding as normal, and the restaurants were packed as common. Unfortunately, the virus continued to spread across the resort and the Tyrol region in general. Cases kept piling up, and more people contracted the virus, which prompted the authorities to quarantine the resort on the 13th of March, but it was already too late by then.

The disastrous effects that led to the spread of the pandemic in Europe can be traced back to this resort. Bernhard Tilg, State Councilor of Health, was called on as a guest to explain the situation. Rather than answer the questions posed by the moderator, Armin Wolf, he merely iterated that the authorities had done everything in their power to halt the spread. Ischgl is a world-famous resort, and tourists worldwide arrive here. This diverse population of people meant that after being infected, the tourists returned to their home countries and spread the virus there. Overall, it is estimated that around 6,000 cases were registered due to the interactions at the ski resort. It serves as a grim reminder about how negligence can put countless lives in danger, just for a few days worth of profit.

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