Saturday, 31 July 2021 07:45 GMT

Median age of those infected with Covid in Italy falls to 28


(MENAFN - Gulf Times) • Moscow cancels QR code Covid-19 restriction
Hungary makes Covid jabs mandatory for health workers
Barcelona to reimpose curfew to fight virus surge


The median age of people infected with the coronavirus (Covid-19) in Italy fell last week to 28, a record low, according to data released yesterday by national health authorities.
The median ages of patients’ first admission to hospital and entrance to intensive care units (ICUs) also fell to 50 and 63 years respectively, according to the data for the week starting July 5.
The median age of deaths, however, was stable at 73.
“A lower age of those infected is due to the fact that older people have been vaccinated in greater numbers and earlier and are therefore better protected,” said Gianni Rezza, director general at the ministry of health.
Other European countries have reported the latest wave of coronavirus infections being driven by younger, unvaccinated adults.
The weekly monitoring results in Italy showed an increase in the number of cases and in the rate of epidemic risk, but at the same time a steady decrease in the occupancy rate of ICUs and hospital admissions.
In Russia, Moscow residents will no longer have to present a QR code demonstrating that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have immunity in order to sit inside cafes, restaurants and nightspots from July 19, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said yesterday.
Russia, which reported a record daily rise in coronavirus-related deaths yesterday, is in the grip of a surge in cases that authorities have blamed on the more contagious Delta variant and the slow rate of vaccinations.
There were 25,704 new cases nationwide yesterday, with 5,382 of those in Moscow.
The capital also reported 105 deaths overnight.
Since June 28, Muscovites have had to present a QR code that proves they have had a vaccine, a negative test or immunity to be able to sit inside, but outdoor terraces remained open to all.
Sobyanin, speaking on state television, said the situation had improved and the rate of vaccination had sped up in the capital, meaning the restriction could therefore be relaxed.
“Starting from the 19th, we are cancelling mandatory QR codes in catering,” Sobyanin said.“This is an important decision, I had a lot of appeals from businesses and public organisations.”
The relaxation will also apply to restaurants in the wider Moscow region, news agencies cited the regional governor as saying, and restaurant owners will be free to decide whether or not they check customers’ QR codes.
Hungary is meanwhile ordering mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for all health workers, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, following similar moves by France and a few other European countries.
“We are not in favour of coercion, with the exception of one area, where we have made a decision that vaccination will be mandatory for healthcare workers,” said Orban in his weekly radio interview.
He did not say when the requirement would take effect.
On Monday France announced mandatory vaccinations for healthcare staff, retirement home workers and others working with vulnerable people from September in line with similar moves in Greece, Italy and Britain.
In Hungary, more than 30,000 people infected with coronavirus have died, making the 9.8mn population central European country one of the hardest hit EU member states, according to AFP data.
But the EU member carried out one of the fastest vaccine rollouts in the 27-member bloc in part thanks to its use of the Chinese Sinopharm and Russian Sputnik V jabs.
The infection case numbers have dropped quickly since May while all coronavirus restrictions including mandatory mask-wearing indoors were lifted in early July.
Since June however the vaccination tempo has slowed.
Barcelona and other cities in northeastern Spain will reimpose a night-time curfew starting this weekend to fight a surge in virus cases after the measure won court approval yesterday.
The curfew is aimed at discouraging social gatherings on beaches and in parks to curb a spike in cases of the Delta variant, especially among unvaccinated young people.
Catalonia’s regional government asked the courts this week for permission to restore a nightly curfew between 1am and 6am in areas where infection rates surpass 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period.
The top court in the northeastern region approved the move, which will affect 161 municipalities, including popular beach resorts like Sitges, Salou and Lloret de Mar.
“It is a difficult measure, but we must stop the infections, protect lives and the health system. It will take effect tonight,” Catalonia’s regional head Pere Aragones tweeted after the court ruling.
The curfew will be in place until July 23 although the Catalan government can ask to extend it.
The curfew will likely have to be extended for several weeks, the court said.

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