restaurant owners strike in Greece, vaccination booster campaign in Cyprus

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 5.1 million people worldwide since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by the France-Press Agencies from official sources, Tuesday, November 16 at midday. The United States is the country with the most deaths (764,000), ahead of Brazil (611,000), India (463,000), Mexico (291,000) and Russia (257,000). 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 could be two to three times higher.

  • Greek restaurants strike against fines

Restaurants largely closed their doors on Tuesday in Greece for a twenty-four-hour strike denouncing the intensification of controls and the increase in fines in the event of non-compliance with new measures to stem the resumption of the pandemic due to the coronavirus. This strike movement is rare in a country where dining is a favorite pastime.

Faced with the upsurge in the number of cases and dozens of deaths recorded daily, the government has imposed for ten days the health pass on restaurants and outdoor cafes, and doubled the fines for professionals in the sector who do not comply with the measures, which now amount to 5,000 euros.

The Pan-Hellenic Catering Federation, Poeset, in a statement called for reduced fines and lower VAT, recalling “Serious problems” faced by professionals in the sector. The union also emphasizes “The need for the government to take adequate measures for the viability of catering businesses” after “The significant losses” caused by the pandemic, estimated at 37.2% between 2019 and 2020, according to official figures.

  • Cyprus offers vaccine booster for adults

Cyprus health authorities said on Tuesday they would gradually offer a booster of the Covid-19 vaccine to people over the age of 18, following a rise in daily cases and hospitalizations. The health ministry said that, as a first step, the booster doses would be available without an appointment from Wednesday in dedicated centers for anyone over the age of 40 who had been vaccinated six months previously.

Daily cases on the island of about one million people had fallen to a few hundred, thanks to a high rate of vaccination, after peaking at 1,152 infections per day. But adult vaccination is slipping after reaching an 80% rate, and on Monday the number of new cases rose to 354, a record since August.

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Cyprus launched its booster dose program in early September in residences for the elderly and for healthcare workers, and then extended it to younger populations. But eligible people did not show up. According to the Ministry of Health, nearly 58% of over 80s received their booster dose against only 23% of over 70s and 13% of over 60s. In Europe, Norway will also offer a third dose of the vaccine for everyone over 18.

  • Munich cancels its Christmas market

The city of Munich, Bavaria, has canceled its Christmas market, which usually attracts over two million visitors, due to “Exponential growth” Covid-19 infections, Mayor Dieter Reiter announced on Tuesday. Munich is the first major German city to make such a decision this year, in the face of the virulence of the new epidemic wave affecting Germany. Bavaria (south) is one of the most affected regions.

In contrast, the city of Nuremberg in northern Bavaria has decided to maintain its world-famous Christmas market, but organizing it from November 26 at four different locations in order to avoid too large gatherings of people. .

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The mayor of Munich, the country’s second city with more than a million and a half inhabitants, justified his decision by the desire not to send a “Bad signal” as the city’s hospitals are faced with “A catastrophic situation”, according to their officials.

Germany, like other German-speaking countries, is facing a surge in infections due in part to a vaccination rate (67.6%) below the government’s targets. Bavaria is particularly affected, with a seven-day incidence rate of more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, behind two other Länder, Saxony and Thuringia, even more heavily affected.

  • Hong Kong Sevens Rugby Tournament postponed

The famous Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament has been postponed from April to November 2022, organizers said, the fifth postponement since the start of the pandemic. The organizers cannot guarantee that “All participating teams will be allowed to travel and will be able to host the event to our own high standards” before next April, said in a statement Robbie McRobbie, general manager of the Hong Kong rugby federation (HKRU).

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The World with AFP