“It is not the measures that are lifted, but the obligation,” Health Minister Thanos Plevris stressed during an extraordinary press briefing on Wednesday. “From May 1, we are entering the new framework and we are in full readiness for whatever is needed,” he added
He said that Greece is “entering a new phase of the pandemic as are all the other European countries, we are entering a phase of co-existence with the virus,” he said and rebuffed criticism on the number of Covid-related deaths.
“The protection measures are there; we do not believe in a zero-covid policy, the figures allow us to move in a framework of co-existence with the virus. We will monitor the course of the pandemic and we will adapt accordingly,” he said, adding that the epidemiological picture justifies the new management of the pandemic.
The minister added that the measures will exist but will not be obligatory:
“We do not believe in a policy of zero-Covid as China does. On the contrary, we believe we can follow another model, to monitor the pandemic and adapt to it”.
The Health Minister pointed out that the epidemiological picture justifies this framework as there is a reduction in the number of deaths and intubations, as well as hospital admissions for Covid, and the numbers needing an ICU, while at the same time the economy is functioning.
We have done everything to reduce the losses, Plevris said.
New definition of Covid-deaths
Minister Plevris rebuffed criticism over Greece’s high death rate from Covid-19 saying that it is below the EU average.
Both the Health Minister and the President of National Health Care Organization, EODY, Theoklis Zaoutis, stressed that the recording of the Covid-deaths is based on the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), ie whoever is diagnosed positive in the coronary and dies, his death is declared as Covid-related death, regardless from other comorbidity.. Patients will end up with Covid and not because of Covid.
Zaoutis clarified that based on scientific indicators, Greece declares an increased number of deaths due to Covid-19, as the recording system is not uniform. He cited a Lancet study according to which deaths were being under-recorded in European countries.
He added that explained that the system of recording deaths can not be comparable based on numbers, as their recording is not uniform in all countries, it depends on the stage of the pandemic in which each country is and finally the prognostic factors are different.
According to latest data, a total of 28,701 people have died as a result of Covid-related complications since the start of the pandemic in Greece.
Acute Hepatitis in Children
Reiterating that so far there are no cases of acute hepatitis in the Country, Plevris stressed that “We are on full alert.”
“We are fully prepared to record and deal with it if necessary,” the minister added.
Zaoutis and member of the Epidemiologists’ Committee, Children Epidemiology Professor, Vana Papaevangelou, stressed that there is no question of linking the acute hepatitis with covid-vaccination as the majority of affected children are below 5 years old and therefore not vaccinated or with the Long Covid.
Papaevangelou said that that the hepatitis seems to be due to an adenovirus.
She added that the pandemic isolation of the child population in recent years may lead to outbreaks of other viruses. “The children were in a sterile environment and that can have an impact now,” Papaevangelou said.
Papaevangelou: Parents should check their children when there is a symptom of infection.