Covid-19 around the world: Rio slackens ballast, Israel prepares to welcome tourists

Brazil, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, may be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. With more than 65% of people vaccinated in Rio, the governor of the state has decided to lift the wearing of masks outdoors. In Israel, where more than 80% of adults are fully vaccinated, authorities have confirmed the relaxation of entry rules for tourists.

The pandemic has killed at least 4,960,994 people around the world since the end of December 2019, according to a report established by Agence France-Presse from official sources on Wednesday, October 27, in the middle of the day.

The United States is the most bereaved country with 741,175 dead, followed by Brazil (606,679), India (455,653), Mexico (286,888) and Russia (233,898).

These figures are based on the daily official balance sheets for each country, excluding upward revisions made a posteriori by some statistical agencies. By taking into account the excess mortality directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19, the WHO estimates that the global toll of the pandemic could be two to three times higher.

  • Rio drops the mask outside

In the Rocinha slum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 22, 2021.

Wearing a mask will no longer be compulsory outdoors from Thursday, October 28 in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Governor Claudio Castro announced on Wednesday, a measure made possible by the progress of vaccination against Covid- 19.

“We are going to make wearing masks more flexible outdoors and that is a cause for celebration. More than a year and a half after the declaration of a state of calamity due to the pandemic, it is an important victory for all ”, rejoiced the governor on Twitter.

Masks will only be compulsory in closed places open to the public, “Thanks to the progress of vaccination and the low rate of transmission” of Covid-19. In the city of Rio, nightclubs and concert halls will be allowed to reopen, with a gauge at 50% of their capacity.

In Brasilia, the lifting of the mandatory outdoor mask must come into force from November 3. Authorities in Sao Paulo, the country’s largest metropolis, are considering doing the same, but no date has yet been announced.

More than 68,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the state of Rio de Janeiro, with a death rate of 394 per 100,000, well above the national average (288 per 100,000).

But the daily number of new deaths has fallen sharply in recent weeks thanks to the advance of vaccination.

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  • Israel reopens its doors to vaccinated travelers

At Ben-Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, on May 27, 2021. From November 1, foreign travelers will no longer need an entry permit.

The Israeli government confirmed on Wednesday the reopening of its borders to foreign tourists vaccinated against Covid-19 from 1is November in the wake of a vaccination campaign in favor of booster doses.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the decision last week, but the measure had not yet been validated by the authorities. Travelers from ” all countries “ will be able to travel to Israel without having to first apply for an entry permit, provided they present a vaccination certificate not older than six months, authorities said.

They will also have to present a PCR test dating to a maximum of seventy-two hours before their departure and take a second test on their arrival. Upon confirmation that this second test is negative, which is usually done in less than twenty-four hours, their quarantine will be lifted, the authorities said.

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Israel will recognize the vaccines Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, the Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm, but also, but from November 15, the Russian Sputnik V. Last week, Mr. Bennett had not mentioned the Sputnik V in the list of recognized vaccines. The press interprets its validation as a gesture “Diplomatic” Israel to his Russian ally – Naftali Bennett traveled to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin last week.

Some 5.7 million Israelis have received two doses of Pfizer vaccine, and 3.9 million the third dose as the government studies the possibility of lowering the vaccination age to 5 years.

The World with AFP

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Covid-19 around the world: Rio slackens ballast, Israel prepares to welcome tourists