Saturday afternoon demonstrations organized in Basel and Geneva against health measures brought together around 3,000 people each.
The cases of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders increased by more than 25% in 2020 globally due to the pandemic, according to a study.
■ The pandemic in the world
New measures, new reports and highlights: an update on the latest developments:
Malaysia has decided to ease restrictions on travel within its borders and abroad for people fully vaccinated against Covid-19
, due to a slowdown in the epidemic and an increase in the vaccination rate. The country has been in the grip of its worst wave of Covid-19 in recent months, prompting the authorities to put in place strict containment throughout the territory.
- The countries of the northern hemisphere are preparing for a possible rebound of bronchiolitis, a respiratory disease that affects babies and can sometimes take them to hospital. “The bronchiolitis epidemic could be large,” warns in its latest opinion the Scientific Council, which guides the French government. Last winter, confinements and barrier gestures also blocked other viruses, including RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), responsible for bronchiolitis. The children were less infected than usual, and therefore have less immunity. The French Scientific Council thus notes a “significant acquired collective immunity deficit for children born after March 2020”.
On this topic:
- United States are the country most bereaved by this epidemic with 712,974 deaths, followed by Brasil (600 829), india (450 589), Mexico (281 958) and Russia (216,415) *
* The WHO estimates, taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, that the results of the pandemic could be two to three times higher.
■ Sydney emerges from more than 100 days of confinement
The inhabitants of Sydney can come out of this Monday of nearly four months of a strict containment. In this city of five million inhabitants, the measure was decided in the summer to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.
Containment was lifted after 106 days of restrictions, given the drop in contamination – 477 cases recorded on Sunday in the state of New South Wales, the most populous in the country – and the progress of vaccination, with over 70% of the population over the age of 16 fully vaccinated.
Some places open to the public, such as bars or games rooms, reopened at midnight for vaccinated customers. Hairdressers will reopen their doors on Monday with an already full appointment book.
Since June, stores, schools and businesses have been closed for so-called “non-essential” activities. Travel was limited to five kilometers from the home and it was not possible to visit relatives, play sports, go shopping or attend a funeral.
■ Politicians are increasingly threatened on the networks
Federal councilors and politicians are increasingly under threat on social media, writes the SonntagsZeitung. The Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Confederation recently sentenced a Bernese to 40 day fines and a fine of 300 francs for “inciting crime and violence” against Simonetta Sommaruga. If the Minister of Transport and National Councilor Andreas Glarner (UDC / AG) are among the last to be victims of online attacks, these are not isolated cases, adds the newspaper.
Federal police statistics show that the number of insults and threats against politicians has increased sharply in recent years. While there were only five cases reported in 2019, 50 cases were recorded last year. And for the current year, 237 cases have been identified between January and April alone. Despite calls to regulate social media, the Federal Council prefers to wait for the report on the subject, which is due at the end of the year
■ The long-term Covid affects 10 to 20% of infected people
According to the World Health Organization, between 10 and 20% of people develop lasting symptoms after infection with the coronavirus, reports the NZZ am Sonntag. However, the diagnosis of long Covid is made by asking for the symptoms, explains in the journal the Viennese neurologist Michael Stingl. This therefore leads to big differences, because many symptoms typical of long Covid, such as fatigue and dizziness, are also prevalent in the population, he adds. He defines the long Covid as a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.
■ Mandatory entry form: 200 offenders amended
Nearly 200 fines have been distributed since September 20 to people who do not have the mandatory form to enter Switzerland, established by the new rules against the coronavirus, according to the SonntagsZeitung, which is based on data from the Federal Customs Administration. Any offender incurs a fine of 100 francs.
Sara Stalder, director of the German consumer protection association SKS, is critical of the data collected by the authorities. “Even the passport or identity card number as well as the place of departure and the vehicle registration number are recorded,” she notes. It also protests against the transmission of these data to the cantonal health authorities. She claims that the cantons cannot have access to all this information.
■ Speculation about the end of the pandemic
The pandemic should be over by next summer, believes Zurich infectious disease specialist Huldrych Günthard in an interview released on Sunday by the SonntagsZeitung. But, he adds, two conditions are necessary: more people need to be vaccinated and the unvaccinated must be infected with the virus. Another condition is that no vaccine-resistant variant appears in between, says the deputy director of the division of infectious diseases and hospital hygiene at the University Hospital Zurich. He stresses that this does not apply to the whole world, but only to countries with a vaccine.
World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan is less optimistic in the SonntagsBlick. It expects 60% of the road to be covered soon. “But we cannot exclude that there is another unexpected mountain to climb,” she adds.
In some parts of the world, a high percentage of the population is vaccinated, ranging from 70 to 80%, she notes. In other regions, such as Africa, less than 4% of the population is fully vaccinated. “The longer humanity tolerates this situation, the greater the risk of the appearance of new variants.”
WHO calls for all available doses to be used to increase immunization rates worldwide. It is only after this deadline that the booster injection, the third dose, should be considered, says Soumya Swaminathan.