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Health experts warn of new mutations, up to 30K daily infections; updated COVID-MAP

While the debate on relaxation of protection measures has started, some epidemiologists in Greece do not seem to be particularly optimistic about the course of the pandemic for the next couple of weeks. Experts fear new mutations of the Covid-19 virus. At the same time, some warn of even 30,000 daily infections by the end of the month.

However, the government is eager to return to normalcy eyeing at the tourism season to start.

New mutations & Ukraine humanitarian crisis

At a pandemic information event at the Medical School of Athens, the country’s top epidemiologist Sotiris Tsiodras and other health experts spoke of the possibility of other mutations after the Omicron and the Omicron 2.

Tsiodras spoke of the possibility of new mutations and brought as example the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine that “could possibly affect the pandemic.”

He stressed that the inoculation rate among populations and the spread of the virus are very important factors for the development of new mutations.

Epidemiology professor Pagona Lagiou did not rule out new mutations also due to the war in Ukraine. Lagiou said that “this could emerge from the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and the refugee flows in Europe and thus among population that has no high rates of inoculation.” She made a reference also to the latest developments in China that experiences spread increase.

Up to 30,000 daily infections

Speaking to Skai FM on Monday, Pulmonology Professor Nikos Tzanakis warned that the number of daily Covid-19 cases in could reach 30,000 in Greece by the end of March.

He predicted that the number of deaths and intubations due to Covid-related causes will remain mostly stabilized.

He stressed the importance of vaccination in protecting against serious illness from Covid-19, however, he added that people who were inoculated before 3-4 months were as likely to contract the virus as the unvaccinated population.

“Most of them, however, will be asymptomatic or experience a soar throat,” Tzanakis said.

Covid-Pass & fourth vaccine dose

Health Minister Thanos Plevris said that there is consideration for the fourth dose of vaccine to be expanded to certain age groups. He reportedly told ERT TV said that “experts will come into a decision after consultation with the pharma companies in April.” He added that under consideration is either a fourth dose or an annual dose as for the flu.

Note that the fourth dose of vaccine was introduced in Greece beginning of the year initially for immune-compromised patients.

Regarding the relaxation of measures such as abolishing the Covid-Pass before Easter, the health minister said “whatever measure is lifted will be reviewed by early autumn.

Covid MAP updated March 8-14

To compare: changes mainly in the North and on the islands March 2-8

More information on the interactive COVID-MAP in English here.

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