- Getting children active after COVID-19 will be “a significant challenge,” says a public health researcher.
Italy reports a 40 percent increase in the number of people receiving a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine following a government decree requiring all public and private workers to have a health passport from October 15.
The Italian coronavirus tsar’s office says the first doses have increased 35 percent for a week compared to last Saturday. Italian regions across the country reported a 20 to 40 percent increase for appointments this week to get intake.
On Thursday, Italy became the first major European economy to require all workers to present a “green passport” within the next month. It requires proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or a recovery from COVID-19 in the past six months.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza says the requirement aims to boost the vaccine campaign while creating safer jobs. Italy, once the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe, has fully vaccinated 75 percent of its population aged 12 and over. Italy has reported more than 130,000 confirmed deaths, the third highest number in Europe after the UK and Russia.
“The Green Pass is an instrument of freedom that will help us to make jobs safer,” said Speranza at a press conference. “The second reason is to step up our vaccine campaign.”
Slovenia and Greece adopted similar measures this week. But Italy’s € 2 trillion ($ 2.35 trillion) economy, the third largest in the European Union, is a far bigger target, and the move underscores the government’s determination to avoid another lockdown, even as the number of new viral infections are shrinking, mostly among the unvaccinated.
What’s happening across Canada
What’s happening all over the world
As of Saturday, more than 227.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. The reported global death toll was more than 4.6 million.
By doing America, South Carolina, sets records for COVID-19 hospital admissions and new cases in the state are nearing last winter’s high. The number of cases has increased from 150 per day to over 5,000. The state hit nearly 2,600 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in early September, a record.
By doing middle East, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has ended a policy requiring those entering from other emirates to recently take a negative COVID-19 test. Abu Dhabi announced on Saturday that people from the other six emirates of the UAE could enter the capital without a test from Sunday.
In Asia, Vietnam has approved Cuba’s Abdala vaccine for use, the government said on Saturday as the Southeast Asian country battles its worst outbreak of COVID-19. Abdala is the eighth COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Vietnam, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the region, with just 6.3 percent of 98 million people having received at least two vaccinations.
In Singapore, health officials reported 1,009 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the highest since April last year. A recent surge in cases following the easing of some COVID-19 measures has led Singapore to suspend further reopening. More than 80 percent of the population are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Australian police used pepper spray to suppress protesters on Saturday at an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne, the country’s second largest city. About 1,000 protesters rallied in the Richmond suburb after the location of the protests was changed at the last minute to evade authorities.
There was minor scuffle and a violent confrontation with a handful of demonstrators. Several demonstrators were arrested. Most of the protesters broke the rules by not wearing masks. About 2,000 police officers were on duty at road checkpoints and barricades, as well as on roving patrols, trying to prevent the rally in violation of public health orders.
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, which reported 535 new infections and one COVID-19 death in the past 24 hours on Saturday. The city’s sixth lockdown began on August 5th. Health officials across Australia registered 1,882 new coronavirus cases on Saturday.,