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Greece to set up nationwide surveillance network for COVID-19 mutations

Greece’s Health Ministry will set up a nationwide surveillance and alert network for Covid-19 mutations, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced on Friday, following an emergency meeting with top epidemiologists and the President of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Athens’ Academy (IIBEAA).

Responding to scientists’ concerned over the mutated strains of SARS-CoV-2, the health ministry is proceeding to establish a nationwide surveillance and alert network that aims to reinforce and better coordinate the genomic surveillance of the virus, Minister Kikilias said.

He stressed the importance of the network to track mutations, in order to have that accurate epidemiological data that will lead to a correct epidemiological analysis, which will help the government make decisions for the protection of public health and the citizens.

He did not elaborate further.

There have been 26 confirmed cases involving mutated COVID-19 strains detected so far but additional suspected cases are under investigation. The results will be announced soon.

According to state broadcaster ERT, there are 10 cases in Crete that are considered as “suspect.”

24 of the 26 confirmed cases are travelers who came or returned to Greece from abroad, but 2 are of not known source of contamination. One of them is in Athens and the second one in Crete.

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