To struggle virus’ unfold, Vienna turns to bike couriers


Hoping to extend the variety of coronavirus checks, the Austrian capital Vienna has a brand new weapon: as an alternative of pizzas, bike couriers are actually delivering Covid-19 checks.

“Within the metropolis we’re speedier than automobiles, as a result of we will get via dense site visitors quicker and needn’t search for ,” stated Marcus Hanauld, a 25-year-old messenger bike courier who till three weeks in the past was delivering takeaways.

To check and hint potential circumstances quicker, greater than 100 bike messengers working for courier service Veloce are actually delivering the town’s free “gargle checks” to round 1,000 individuals day-after-day.

Like many international locations throughout Europe, Austria is battling to include a surging variety of coronavirus circumstances, with Vienna at present accounting for a few third of the nation’s total infections.

Donning a masks, goggles and a contemporary pair of surgical gloves, Hanauld palms every of the 5 members of the Mihailovic household a cup of saline answer, instructs them to gargle for a minimum of half a minute, then spit the answer into check tubes which he’ll take to a lab on the finish of his eight-hour shift.

Veloce’s bike messengers have been delivering Covid-19 checks for the reason that starting of October, partly resulting from heavy criticism that testing and contract tracing within the metropolis of two million has been sluggish and inefficient, permitting the virus to unfold quickly.

By the top of the month, the town desires to scale as much as about 200 couriers, along with different sorts of checks, comparable to drive-through websites and bizarre testing groups being dispatched to those that should quarantine.

“It tastes like once we took a vacation by the ocean,” the household’s 12-year-old daughter, who examined constructive in a wide-scale testing drive at her college final week, tells her youthful siblings.

Hanauld was educated to manage and accurately retailer the check samples in his insulated backpack in addition to the way to shield himself from contracting Covid-19, however refers sufferers to the town’s free well being hotline in the case of medical questions.

“I recognised straight away that he should have arrived by bike, as a result of he carries the identical backpack I had once I labored as a pizza supply boy,” the household’s father, Mihalo, stated.

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© 2020 AFP

To struggle virus’ unfold, Vienna turns to bike couriers (2020, October 14)
retrieved 15 October 2020

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