VIENNA (AFP) — Popular for keeping the pandemic at bay in Austria, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober is preparing for a “major challenge” in an anticipated second coronavirus wave in the autumn. If all goes well, he will consolidate the Green Party’s place in the conservative-led government and prove it is an indispensable ally that can also advance some of its own interests on the environment. The Green minister has seen his profile rise rapidly during the crisis, even eclipsing the popularity of his boss, conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, according to one recent poll. But speaking to AFP this week, Anschober — also known by his nickname “Rudi” — said the ratings did not impress him. “Now comes the difficult… stabilization phase after the reopening,” the 59-year-old said, adding this was also the “phase of preparation for the autumn, which we see as another major challenge.” He added virologists in Austria said the infection risk would “massively increase” when people head indoors again once summer is over. He cited the example of Israel, which had been deemed successful in fighting the virus but which has recently seen infections surge.