Greece’s epidemiologists are particularly concerned about the course of the pandemic in the country after daily Covid-19 infections hit an all time record with 4,696 cases on Saturday and coronavirus-patients in intubation to have exceeded 400. Pressure on public hospitals in Thessaloniki and other cities of northern Greece is especially high, with doctors saying that ICUs capacity has been reached.
The burden on the epidemiological load in several regions is reportedly at such levels that now scenarios suggesting “at least 5,000 infections per day” appear absolutely realistic. Under these circumstances, the Committee of Experts of the Health Ministry are is going to suggest to the government the implementation of new measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, if not horizontal lockdown, at least some restriction in “red” regions, regions with very high number of infections.
Covid-Map updated October 27
Slow vaccinations rollout
The slow pace of vaccinations is a cause of concern for the government as 36% of the general population has not even received one dose of vaccines against COVID-19.
A new pro-vaccination campaign is expected to start on Monday, November 1, with sms to some 450,000 unvaccinated citizens. The sms will be sent several times per week, and contain messages about the risks faced by all those who remain vaccinated.
The messages will be also sent to those who should take the booster shot, important mainly for elderly and vulnerable groups.
One of the messages reads among others: “7 in 10 intubated Covid-patients are over 60 and 9 in 10 unvaccinared.”
New measures under consideration
As the government remains determined to avoid a new general or even local lockdown, the country’s epidemiologists are considering alternatives including recommendations for mandatory vaccination for workers in certain sectors like catering and entertainment.
According to media on Sunday, among others also cnngreece, the country’s health experts are expected to suggest the following measures:
- Possible imposition of mandatory vaccinations for catering and leisure workers
- Two rapid tests for unvaccinated workers and at their own expenses for both the private and public sector.
- Additional restrictions for unvaccinated citizens in mixed open spaces in restaurants, cafes and bars
- Mandatory use of mask use everywhere in the “red” regions.
Professor of Epidemiology and member of the Committee of Epidemiologist, Gikas Majorkinis left open the possibility of closure of nightclubs in areas with high number of infections.
Speaking to Skai TV, Majorkinis did not rule out the possibility that measure decisions will be taken within the upcoming week for areas such as Thessaly, Eastern and Central Macedonia, where the number of infections is growing rapidly.
On October 6, the government decided to scrap the so-called local lockdowns and to allow music, dance and standing customers in cafes and bars. The Health Ministry had said that it would review the new measures in two weeks. Apparently it did not do so, even though health experts went on alert a week ago.
Anyway, the Epidemiologists Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and make relevant recommendations on upcoming Wednesday. According to some media, the Committee may even hold an extraordinary meeting, tomorrow, Monday.