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“Countdown to end the pandemic has begun,” says Greek Health Minister

“The countdown to end the pandemic has begun,” Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Tuesday, while the country remains in lockdown and the EU health authorities have not approved the vaccines against SARS-COVID-2 yet.

Speaking to ANT1 TV, Kikilias said that while the five weeks of lockdown and restrictions have brought about some improvement in the levels of the pandemic, this has not happened at the rate that was hoped for.

“The country’s health system remains under great pressure and ICUs are full,” the Minister stressed.

“I believe that if we continue to be careful about our hygiene, with a sense of responsibility and love for our fellow human beings, to follow the public health rules, wear a mask and respect those at risk, then yes, there is hope for a permanent improvement, for optimism and there are also the vaccines ahead and a new prospect opening up for the country,” Kikilias added.

He stressed that the ordeal was nearing its end, as the “countdown” had already begun.

While Greek ICUs were near capacity, Kikilias pointed out that Greece was not alone and that even countries like Germany, with more than 40,000 ICUs, were forced to impose a lockdown because they were unable to control the virus.
“Let us have a true sense that Greece is a country of solidarity and help one another do better. Let us not allow the Christmas holiday, which is a holiday of love, to become the cause for us to face unpleasant situations in January,” he added.

He noted that the vaccination project involved thousands of people, raising issues of cybersecurity, safety in transport and a large-scale logistics effort. This involved the vaccination centres, their staff, the two doses of the vaccine, the way citizens will be informed and monitoring by the National Organisation of Medicines, to record any side-effects that may arise.

He said the entire plan will be presented in detail over the coming days, from the special storage freezers acquired by the state to the premises that will be used and all other aspects, saying that the help of the police and the armed forces will be enlisted to assist in security and logistics.

He announced that the country’s healthcare professionals will be those to be vaccinated first.

PS As world authorities say that it should take some 12 months after vaccination starts until there is a safe environment, Accoridng to latest information from Germany the EU is to approve the vaccine on Dec 23. Taking into consideration also the transportation time I start roughly counting: 400, 399, 398….

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  1. How about just accept 0.1% of population are going to die and move on? There are more deaths from smoking…

    We tried lockdown before, it did not work. Now even WHO says we should not lockdown.

    • If members of your own family are in that 0.1% of population would you be so comfortable with it?

    • “Now even WHO says we should not lockdown.” That is a misrepresentation of what the WHO say, Joan. The WHO say that “Lockdown” is not a solution, which is true. Neither is just letting the virus travel through the population, which is what you want. The WHO completely reject that as a solution. The only solution is to detect who is infectious and isolate them from the rest of the population until they are no longer infectious. That is and always has been the standard public health policy for all infectious diseases. Test-trace-isolate is simply a new description of that policy. It can only work if the daily number of cases is low. Lockdown is a useful measure to bring cases down to a level that will allow test-trace-isolate to work. Unfortunately in most European countries, including Greece, they have not been able to implement test-trace-isolate effectively. This page shows graphs of cases and deaths in a country that used lockdown, border controls and test-trace isolate effectively. It has double the population of Greece a much higher population density and 7 deaths in total.

  2. My friend already tried to kill herself twice for lockdown. She can not get
    a help, because everything is closed.

    Old people die, I am sorry, but nobody lives forever. I refuse to sacrefise young people, so grandma can live 3 months longer.

    • there are help lines in most countries.

      • There are of course and yes some people’s mental health has deteriorated however someone who loses a person they love to COVID also suffers severe post death depression, sadness. Please don’t compare the two as it does not make sense. Letting people die from corona virus does not fix a person’s mental health.

  3. Thank you where is our compassion and respect for older people. Mybrother in law died from COVID in Australia. He was 77 and fit. He had been here for 5 years with his wife who was an Australian citizen. He died alone, daughters and grandchildren in Greece. My sister in law could not attend as at 70 she had just recovered after intubation and had to self isolate. Not as simple as letting granny die 3 months earlier. It is a person that is loved by theit family who may have lived for much longer if not for COVID. Please show care and compassion

    • I respect all people, but I also need to take care of my family. Right now we can not even go to work or even playground. And advices like “just call this number” are not very hepfull.

      It is your job to protect your elderly. Put them into isolation, freezer whatever. I am sure they will live happy life until 150 years old. But you have no right to lock up entire nation for a year.