The pandemic due to the new coronavirus has killed nearly 5.3 million people worldwide since the end of 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse (AFP) from official sources, Friday, December 10 in mid -daytime. The United States is the most bereaved country with nearly 800,000 dead, ahead of Brazil (616,000), India (474,000), Mexico (296,000) and Russia (287,000). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the toll of the pandemic in the world could be two to three times higher.
Caregivers subject to compulsory vaccination in Germany
German deputies adopted a law on Friday forcing medical staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the first step before an extended vaccination obligation to the entire population, expected at the beginning of next year. The bill was approved with 571 votes in favor (80 against) by an assembly where social democrats, ecologists and liberals are in the majority.
Several medical establishments, in particular retirement homes in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg, have in recent weeks become hotbeds of contamination with the new coronavirus, with a high number of deaths among residents. If the data remains incomplete, the medical staff are on average more vaccinated (nearly 90%) than the general population (69.3%), according to the Robert Koch Institute. With this decision, Germany joins other European countries such as France, Italy, Greece or the United Kingdom.
Hit by a new virulent wave, the country plans to go further. The new Social Democratic chancellor, Olaf Scholz, intends to ask Parliament to vote by the end of the year on the vaccination obligation which, if approved, will come into force in February or March. However, the authorities fear that this measure will arouse the anger of opponents of health restrictions, mobilized by the thousands since the start of the pandemic.
Vaccine soon compulsory for over 60s in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has made Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for people over the age of 60 from 1is March, the government of the country, which has one of the highest infection rates in the world, said on Friday. The obligation will also apply to health workers, police, firefighters and soldiers.
“We see that people of a certain age constitute the majority of people hospitalized and in intensive care”, said Health Minister Adam Vojtech. But the new regulations were approved just a week before a new government took office, and health minister successor Vlastimil Valek has already said he is opposed to the measure and that he wants to change the legislation.
The Czech Republic has reported 981 cases of Covid per 100,000 people in the past seven days, the second infection rate in the world, behind its neighbor Slovakia.
In an acute health crisis, Slovakia eases the constraints
The Slovak government on Friday authorized the reopening of shops, ski resorts and churches to people vaccinated or having recovered from Covid, in this country which has the highest rate of infection in the world. A member of the European Union, Slovakia, which partially contained itself at the end of last month, has recorded 1,099 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, according to an AFP tally. The move to ease restrictions came after criticism of the government, with some criticizing authorities for being unable to do Christmas shopping or plans for the holidays.
“The epidemic situation remains very serious but we are controlling it”, said the Minister of Health, Vladimir Lengvarsky, announcing the decision on Wednesday, which entered into force on Friday. “Opening stores is a relatively risky measure from an epidemiological point of view, but it is to appease people”, he had explained. Government spokeswoman Lubica Janikova stressed that the decision was not set in stone and that it would be reassessed in the coming days. Slovakia has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the European Union, with less than half of the population fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
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Covid-19 around the world: the vaccine obligation is gaining ground in Germany and the Czech Republic