Massive upsurge in corona parties among anti-vaxxers in Europe – despite mutation fears

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Italian health authorities have said a 55-year-old man died after attending a so-called party in South Tyrol, a German speaking province. The man died in Austria, which borders the northeastern province.

Patrick Franzoni, co-ordinator of the anti-Covid unit in Bolzano, a city in the region, told Italian newspaper Il Dolomiti: “We have received more than one account from doctors of patients who admitted to having been infected on purpose.

“[They do this] to develop antibodies without vaccination.

“There are long-term consequences and even young people can end up in hospital.”

According to Dr Franzoni, at least one of the party-goers is infected with the virus and the other attendees deliberately come into close contact with them by hugging, kissing and sharing drinks.

He said that “in a closed room, between five and 10 people can ‘easily’ become infected in one night.”

The Prosecutor’s Office in Bolzano has now opened an investigation into the “corona-parties”.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera has described it as “health rebellion”.

A party-goer told the publication: “We meet to drink beers at someone’s house with a COVID-19 positive host.”

This Italian province has a high incidence rate and a low vaccination rate compared to the rest of Italy.

An average of 9,800 new infections are recorded every day in this territory of over 500,000 inhabitants.

The vaccination rate is 78.4 percent, below the national average, Le Figaro reports.

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Bolzano is among the worst-affected areas in Italy, having been hit hard by the winter Covid wave.

Austria on Monday became the first country in western Europe to reimpose a lockdown since the introduction of vaccines.

Germany and the Netherlands could also face tougher restrictions, with German health minister Jens Spahn predicting most of the country would be “vaccinated, cured or dead” by the end of winter.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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