Wednesday, April 14

Covid-19: in Israel, the reopening of restaurants and the “return to life” after a mass vaccination campaign

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 2.5 million people worldwide, and more than 116 million cases of infection have been officially diagnosed since the rise of the first cases of contamination in China at the end of 2019.

While the disease continues to spread in some countries around the world, others, like Israel, are beginning to see a return to normal.

  • In Israel, a virtual return to normal

To sit in a cafe, to eat in the restaurant or to return to the benches of the school… Life in Israel returned almost to normal, Sunday March 7, in favor of new deconfinement measures. Validated the night before by the government, they were eagerly awaited by the inhabitants of the country since the gradual release of the third confinement in mid-February, made possible by a massive vaccination campaign.

“It’s a great day, we are opening restaurants with the green passport, we are coming back to life”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday morning, seated on the terrace, on a sunny morning, in a café in Jerusalem.

Read also: Six questions on the “vaccination passport”, promise of a return to normal life or unfair measure?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a café in Jerusalem on March 7.

Bars and restaurants can now reopen for holders of the “green passport”, a permit granted to people who have received two doses of the vaccine or who have been cured of Covid-19. More than half of 9.3 million Israelis have received a first injection of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, to which the Jewish state has privileged access as part of an agreement to share biomedical data on the effects of vaccination . And about 40% of Israelis received the second dose of the vaccine.

  • Ethiopia receives 2.2 million doses of vaccine

Ethiopia received its first 2.2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, obtained through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax program to allow the poorest countries to have access to the vaccination.

Ethiopia has recorded more than 165,000 cases of Covid-19, including more than 2,400 deaths. Over the past month, the number of cases there has increased by 12% per week and the number of deaths by 37% per week, according to the African Union (AU) public health agency. The second most populous country in Africa, with 110 million inhabitants, intends to vaccinate about 20% by the end of the year, a senior official at the Ministry of Health told Agence France-Presse. , the Dr Muluken Yohannes. “The administration of vaccines will begin this week”, he said, specifying that it would primarily target health personnel.

The arrival of the first vaccines against Covid-19 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on March 7.

Ethiopia’s neighbor Djibouti has also received its first AstraZeneca vaccines as part of Covax, intended for caregivers and people over 50 with comorbidities, the WHO announced on Saturday.

Read also: Rome blocks the export of AstraZeneca vaccines outside of Europe
  • Slovakia transfers patients to Germany and Poland

The first Slovak patients sick with Covid-19 have been welcomed by neighboring Poland and others are expected in Germany, to relieve this country which has the highest Covid death rate in the world: Slovakia, country of EU of 5.4 million inhabitants, recorded an average of 24.09 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants over the last fourteen days. This is the highest rate in the world, just before that of the neighboring Czech Republic which is 22.52 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, according to a count by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

“Three patients are currently in Poland. We know that probably more will come ”, detailed the Polish Deputy Minister of Health, Waldemar Kraska, on the Polsat News television channel. Two patients were also due to arrive in the afternoon in the German city of Dortmund, the government of North Rhine-Westphalia announced. They may be followed by eight other patients in the coming days.

According to Bratislava, Poland and Germany have so far offered ten hospital beds each for Slovak patients. Poland is also awaiting the signal from the Czech authorities to welcome a first patient from this country, added Waldemar Kraska.

  • In Germany, rush for commercial antigen tests

Sold between 21.99 and 24.99 euros, these self-tests allow the user to take a nasal swab and know the result in fifteen minutes.

Germans rushed to Aldi chain supermarkets on Saturday to buy the first commercially-sold antigen tests for the new coronavirus, stocks of which ran out within hours. Rival chain Lidl, for its part, saw its website saturated after selling home test kits online.

Beyond these two distributors, the tests will also go on sale at major pharmacies and other establishments across the country in the coming days. In addition, from Monday, all Germans will be entitled to one free antigen test per week, carried out by professionals in pharmacies or approved test centers.

The German government is counting on the massive practice of antigenic tests to carry out its strategy of gradually unlocking the anti-Covid device, in the face of growing public discontent, while the pace of vaccinations remains slow. Experts stress, however, that rapid tests are less reliable than PCR tests and that protective measures should be maintained even if the test is negative.

Our selection of articles on Covid-19 vaccines

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