On Tuesday, a serious gas explosion occurred in the Kosovan town of Ferizaj, injuring more than 40 people, some of them seriously. The Kosovan Foreign Ministry approached the Austrian Foreign Ministry with an urgent request for support and to take on two patients, and assistance was promised immediately.
It goes without saying that Austria always provides assistance when it is needed. Last spring, for instance, we already provided medical care in Austria to COVID-19 patients from the Western Balkan countries and repeatedly provided support throughout the year, for example in the form of medical equipment. Today, I would also like to thank the University Hospital Graz, which was immediately ready to help here,
said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
A close partnership with the countries of the Western Balkans is a priority of Austrian foreign policy. In this respect, it is only natural that we also provide support in such emergency situations,
said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
The two seriously injured people were brought to Austria today, Saturday, by the C-130 Hercules transport plane and are now receiving intensive medical treatment at the University Hospital Graz.
Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said the following on the assistance:
We have been deployed in Kosovo with our soldiers since 1999 and maintain close ties with the population there. Especially in this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are supporting our partner countries in the Western Balkans as part of the solidarity efforts of our foreign policy.
The air force has special patient transport containers for such MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) transports. These can be equipped in a modular way so that intensive medical care can also be provided during the flight. The Austrian Armed Forces currently have 3 C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
With this action, Styria is supporting the care of two seriously injured people based on its competences and possibilities. In Austria, there are two special centres for the treatment of severe burn injuries. One of these centres is located at the University Hospital Graz and is responsible for the nationwide care of burn victims. There, the two patients are being cared for in two of the six special beds that are available for this type of injury,
said Styrian Regional Councillor for Health Juliane Bogner-Strauß, who thanks the treatment team.