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Austrian Chancellor thanks Netanyahu for COVID-19 warning

A ceremony honoring the members of the health system and the partner bodies for their contribution to the fight against the coronavirus was held on Sunday in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.

During the ceremony, remarks by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz were broadcast in which the Chancellor thanks Netanyahu for alerting him to the dangers of COVID-19.

“I would like to thank you, Bibi, for our group cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kurz.

“It was you who first alerted me about the massive danger of the coronavirus at the beginning of last year. Following your warnings, we took hard measures very early in Austria last year, which helped us get through the first wave quite effectively,” he added.

“I would also like to thank you for our good cooperation within the first movers group on COVID-19 management. It has been very helpful to exchange best practices in this group and to learn from each other on what measures worked best in the fight against the pandemic.”

“As I told you many times,” continued the Chancellor, “I have been very impressed with the efficiency of your vaccination campaign in Israel. You are so well advanced that you have been able to lift almost all COVID-related restrictions by now.”

“In Austria we have made good progress as well and we are also now opening up our society. With a view to the future waves, I would like to enhance the cooperation on research and development and vaccine production with Israel and Denmark as discussed during the visit together with [Danish Prime Minister] Mette Frederiksen in Jerusalem at the beginning of March,” said Kurz.

“Thank you again. I really appreciate our cooperation and partnership, and best wishes to Israel,” he concluded.

Kurz revealed last year that it was a phone call from Netanyahu that made him act to curb the virus.

“I contacted Bibi Netanyahu and he told me his opinion, that several countries in Europe aren’t doing enough and that he is concerned that Europe isn’t treating the problem as it should,” Kurz told Israel’s Kan 11 News in an interview.

“This, of course, caused us to treat the issue more firmly and quickly make decisions. I thank Bibi Netanyahu for the conversation we held a few weeks ago which led to the fact that we were the first to respond in Europe,” added the Chancellor.

When Austria was hit by a second wave of coronavirus, Kurz once again sought the help of Israel’s Prime Minister, and the two held a conversation in November.

Source: Arutz Sheva


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