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Greece’s experts on the coronavirus course, the high death toll & Easter

“The pandemic seems to be under control, we have fewer confirmed cases and fewer hospitalizations” Alternate Health Minister Mina Gaga said at the now rare live briefing on the course of the coronavirus in the country on Friday as Greece is ready to lift further protection measures on May 1, despite the fact that the large number of Covid-deaths.

A good week before Easter, the panel of the health experts stressed that citizens should wear the mask wherever there is crowding like in churches, public transport means, ships, hospitals and schools.

They recommended a self-test before people meet with relatives -elderly or with underlying health problems –  again after a long time.

Member of the Epidemiologists Committee, Professor Vana Papaevangelou stressed that there has been a significant decrease by 32% of new infections and that the Rt marker is below 1% to 0.85%.

However, infections of those over 65 years old continue and the median age of infected is 43.

“3 in 4 hospitalizations with Covid-19 are over 65 years old,” she noted.

Decrease in new hospitalizations is by 12% compared to two weeks ago.

Coverage of Covid-beds in normal wards is at 50%, while beds in ICUs have a coverage of 80%. The number of beds available for Covid-19 patients has been reduced.

Re-infections with the coronavirus are 1,000 per day and there is an improvement of the epidemiological load.

Papaevangelou spoke of “slow de-escalation of the intubated patients” stressing that the same time that deaths have not decreased, and the average is 60 deaths per day.

  • Note: On Friday authorities announced 8,223 new infections, 70 deaths and 329 intubated patients in ICUs.

She reportedly named three reasons for Covid-patients who die in the ICUs.

– They have a serious underlying health problems

– They are elderly with health issues

-It is possible that patients do not die of Covid-19 but their deaths is attributed to the pandemic.

“It is a multi-factor phenomenon and deaths regard people with underlying health issues who are hospitalized for these, they get infected with Covid-19 and die or very old people,” Papaevangelou said.

“They die with Covid but not from Covid,” she said characteristically.

Citing the latest study from Israel, she said that the 2nd booster vaccine shot (4th dose) protects at 68% from hospitalization and at 74% from death.

She underlined that the coronavirus continues to threaten especially the life of unvaccinated citizens and it has not be modified to a common flu yet.”

Fact is, however, that the number of deaths is a cause of concern to scientists.

Regarding the lifting of the mandatory mask outdoors already in force and indoors as of June 1, Papaevangelou said:

“We are entering a new phase with a personal assessment of the risk, we must know where to wear a mask, there is no reason for horizontal measures.”

PS After two years of lockdowns, sms to go for a walk or shopping, vaccinations and recovery passes, Rapid tests to go have a coffee if unvaccinated, 300-euro fine for not wearing a mask and a 100-euro fine for over 60 years old who are unvaccinated, Greece’s health experts suddenly discovered the “personal responsibility.” 🙄🙄🙄

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  1. So the three factors that are said to contribute to deaths from Corona do not include being unvaccinated. I thought avoiding death or serious illness was pretty much the reason now given in favour of the vaccination. All quite confusing.

    • The ratio vaccinated – unvaccinated covid patients in ICU is in general 1-7. So it’s not because it was not explicitely said that vaccination isn’t a factor. There are already numerous scientific studies that show vaccination does make you less ill. And being less ill also means a (much) smaller chance to end up in the ICU or dying from Covid.