In some parts of the world, the threat posed by coronavirus is taken so lightly that people are holding “COVID parties” to see if they can catch the virus.
But for one 55-year-old Austrian man, his decision to attend one of these parties was quite literally fatal.
The man died last week after attending a COVID party in Bolzano, in Italy’s north, il Dolomiti reports.
Another three people have been hospitalised after attending similar events.
Some parents have reportedly even taken their children to these parties, according to The Mirror.
Dr Patrick Franzoni, co-ordinator of the anti-COVID unit in Bolzano, explained that at least one person known to be infected with COVID would attend the party.
Then others would deliberately go up to that person and come into close contact by hugging, kissing or sharing drinks with them.
“We have received more than one account from doctors of patients who admitted to having been infected on purpose,” Dr Franzoni said.
“[They do this] to develop antibodies, and to obtain the green pass (vaccine certificate) without vaccination.
“There are long-term consequences and even young people can end up in hospital.”
In parts of Europe, the so-called “green pass” is required to go to work or to attend certain venues.
They can only be obtained if a person is fully immunised against COVID, or has recovered from the virus within the past six months.
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