Greece, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are tightening restrictions on people unvaccinated against COVID-19. In Hungary, mandatory indoor masks are introduced. In Germany, experts recommend a third dose of the vaccine to be given to anyone from 18 years of age. The epidemic in the Netherlands is worsening, with the highest daily increase in the number of coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
The head of the office of Hungarian Prime Minister Gergely Gulyas announced at a press conference that wearing protective masks will be obligatory in Hungary from Saturday. He also said that a third dose of vaccination against coronavirus would be mandatory for all health care workers, and a similar step was planned in the state administration. He added that, according to mathematicians’ forecasts, the fourth wave of the Hungarian pandemic could peak in late November or early December.
Highest daily increase in the number of infections in the Netherlands
The Dutch National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) has registered 23,680 infections, 2,887 more than on Wednesday – since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country has not seen such a large daily increase in the number of infections.
According to the National Center for Patient Distribution Coordination (LCPS), the number of hospitals is also growing. Currently, there are 2,110 people suffering from COVID-19 (on Wednesday it was 2,077 people), including 413 in intensive care units.
New restrictions in Greece. Appeal to doctors from private clinics
Greece’s health ministry called on Thursday doctors working in private clinics in five northern and central regions of the country to help public hospitals struggling with the fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, the daily Kathimerini reported.
According to the ministry’s calculations, 100 doctors are needed to support public hospitals. Until Tuesday, the ministry managed to recruit only 40 people who voluntarily agreed to help public institutions. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Micotakis announced on Thursday in a televised speech that new restrictions would apply in the country from Monday due to the spread of COVID-19.
The new measures mean that unvaccinated adults will no longer be able to access confined facilities after presenting a negative test result. Pursuant to the regulations in force, the unvaccinated cannot use only the restaurant inside the premises. – This is indeed a pandemic among the unvaccinated – commented the Prime Minister, calling for vaccination.
According to the new rules, the vaccination certificate for people over 60 years of age will cease to be valid seven months after the second dose. This means that this age group will have one month to receive a booster dose of the vaccine.
German experts recommend administering a third dose of the vaccine
The German standing committee on immunization (Stiko) issued on Thursday “with immediate effect” recommendation to vaccinate with a booster dose for people from 18 years of age. Meanwhile, the heads of intensive care units at the largest clinics in Baden-Württemberg called in an open letter for more vaccinations – warned that otherwise there will soon be no beds for patients with heart attacks, strokes and accidents.
The heads of these departments from the seven largest clinics in Baden-Württemberg warned about the overload in the ICU in an open letter, informs the regional daily “Stuttgarter Nachrichten”. According to the medics, “despite the pandemic, people at risk of life have been well cared for in the past 20 months,” but this fall, “the extremely contagious Delta Coronavirus variant” is making things worse.
“In the next few weeks, we expect a very large number of new cases of COVID-19 in intensive care units, these patients may occupy more than 60 percent of all available places in ICU departments” – predict doctors.
Currently, 20 percent. beds in intensive care units are used by coronavirus patients. Almost 90 percent of them are unvaccinated people. As emphasized by doctors, the consequences of this trend are worrying and affect all patients, from newborns to seniors, but “most of all emergencies requiring intensive care, people injured in road accidents, as well as (such cases as) complicated pregnancies, tumors, strokes or heart attacks “.
“We probably won’t be able to take care of all of them well and efficiently, because nurses and doctors are busy caring for COVID-19 patients,” doctors said, appealing to get vaccinated “for the benefit of their own and their families.”
In the Czech Republic, negative tests will not be considered a covid certificate
The Czech government decided on Thursday that covid certificates will be limited only to certificates of vaccination against COVID-19 or a history of the disease. With some exceptions, negative coronavirus test results will no longer be recognized. The new regulations are to apply until the end of February.
Exemptions have been made for people under the age of 18, people who received the first dose of the vaccine, and people who, for health reasons, cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19. The tests will also be honored in sanatoriums and during meetings of company and company authorities. PCR and antigen tests will also be accepted during visits to hospitals and social welfare facilities.
The government decided that students living in dormitories would not be able to perform the tests independently as they do now, and only the results from certified laboratories will be recognized.
Slovakia tightens restrictions on the unvaccinated
The Slovak government has decided to tighten the restrictions mainly for people not vaccinated against COVID-19. The changes will come into force on Monday and will be valid for three weeks.
From Monday, employers will have to check the covid certificates of all employees and only people who are vaccinated, with a history of COVID-19 disease or with a negative test result will be able to work. It will be possible to send an employee who does not meet these conditions on vacation or arrange for him to work from home. The rule will apply throughout the country, although it formally applies to poviats with a high level of epidemic risk.
Participation in mass events has been limited to people who are vaccinated or have had COVID-19. In poviats where the epidemic situation is very bad, the number of participants was limited to 50 people. Unvaccinated people will be able to shop only in stores with the necessary assortment – in grocery stores, drugstores, pharmacies.
To get to shopping malls, you will need a certificate confirming vaccination or a history of disease. The same requirement applies to viewers of sports events and people who want to enter the aquapark or the swimming pool. In the poviats with the worst epidemic situation, and currently there are 54 of them out of 79, hotels and restaurants will remain closed. Only take-away sales will be allowed.
Main photo source: REMKO DE WAAL / PAP / EPA