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Austrian health minister quits over Covid crisis 'overwork'

Anschober faced death threats over anti-virus measures

13 April, 17:47
(ANSA-AFP) - VIENNA, APR 13 - Austria's health minister announced his resignation on Tuesday, saying he was overworked and exhausted managing the coronavirus crisis. "I've decided to resign from my job," Rudolf Anschober, who has faced death threats over the government's anti-virus measures, told reporters. "I'm overworked and powered out," the 60-year-old said, adding that 15 months on the job had felt like 15 years.

He warned the pandemic should not be "underestimated". "We are not out of the woods yet," he said, becoming emotional as he thanked friends and colleagues. "I believe all in all we have done good work. No one is without mistakes." Anschober -- who took three months off from politics in 2012 because of burnout -- said he had suffered circulation problems recently. He had been absent from work since last week and also took a week off early last month when he checked into hospital. The Green party member became health minister early last year, just before the coronavirus started spreading rapidly in Europe. Anschober will be replaced by Wolfgang Mueckstein, a doctor and Green party member who warned he favoured lockdowns and would make "unpopular decisions" to save people's health. Anschober had seen his profile rise rapidly during the crisis, even eclipsing the popularity of conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in the middle of last year as Austria kept the first wave of the pandemic relatively at bay. (ANSA-AFP).

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