"Greece will receive its quota of coronavirus vaccines under the pre-purchase agreement by the European Commission and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, if the vaccine under development successfully passes the necessary tests," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during the regular teleconference meeting with experts on Wednesday.
The PM stressed that this is one of the most promising vaccines against Covid-19 that are being tested. However, that along with measured optimism of the progress and until the vaccine does come out, there should be no complacency among the citizens, urging “increased vigilance”.
As the return of summer vacationers to the large urban centres peaks until the end of August, Mitsotakis stressed that the government has already announced a package of concrete measures to prevent the spread of the virus. “We are always ready to update and further enhance these measures, always based on real data, which we publish every day with absolute transparency”.
He also addressed the fake news on social media, noting that the narratives of those fighting the virus on a daily basis will show the minority of Greeks who question the real danger that the problem is real and must be addressed collectively by the citizens, and this is not a fabrication that fits into nonsensical and far-fetched ‘conspiracy theories’
During the meeting, the epidemiological data was discussed, and based on the information from August 8 onward, 70% of the domestic cases are in close contact with an already existing case, a detail that aids in a better tracking and the attempt to confine the cases to limit the spread in the community.
Statistics also show that the majority of cases are related to the younger age groups, while the vast majority of deaths are still related to the elderly.
Ανακοινώσαμε ένα πλαίσιο μέτρων για τη διαδικασία επιστροφής στα αστικά κέντρα και είμαστε πάντα έτοιμοι να επικαιροποιήσουμε και να ενισχύσουμε αυτά τα μέτρα. Ζητάμε τη συμμετοχή όλων των πολιτών στην προσπάθεια να περιορίσουμε την αυξητική τάση που δείχνει ο κορωνοϊός. pic.twitter.com/nSlKAbSI8r
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) August 19, 2020
Greece recorded 217 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour reporting period.
This raises the total number of cases to 7,684.
1,765 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 3,585 are related to an already known case.
Twenty-eight individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 68 years. Nearly 43% have an underlying condition or are 70 years old or older.
Another 148 have been discharged from ICUs since the first outbreak in Greece.
The country’s pandemic death toll stands at 235. The median age of all was 77 years and 95% had an underlying condition and/or were 70 years old or older.
Health authorities are continuing tests at the VIAL Reception & Identification Center after another three migrants tested positive for the novel virus.
It is recalled last week, a 35-year-old man and a staff member of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) tested positive.
In addition to the five people infected at the VIAL Reception & Identification Center, three people have tested positive for the coronavirus at a facility in Fylakio, in the northern region of Evros, and one in another facility near the city of Drama, according to Migration Ministry sources. Restrictions are in force at all migrant camps while a ban on movement has been imposed on those under lockdown.
Last week, in response to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Greece, Hardalias announced additional protection measures.
The new measures are:
- All restaurants, bars and catering businesses will close from 00:00 until 07:00 in the region of Attica, the islands of the Saronic Gulf and the island of Kythira until August 24
- 50 person-limit in all public and social events except those in which special protection measures are applied as restaurants, theatres, cinemas, until August 24 at the epidemiologically burdened areas
- The whole package of measures applied on Poros is extended to the island of Paros and Antiparos until August 24. These measures ban any congregation over 9 persons for any reason in public and private areas and four-person limit per table except for families and mandatory use of face masks throughout the island in both outdoor and indoor areas
- The measures on Poros island are extended to August 24
- Mandatory use of face masks in military camps, migrants and refugees hosting facilities and solidarity structures
- Civil servants and private sector employees belonging to vulnerable groups will work from home or back office until August 31.
Additionally, Hardalias urged for the use of face masks to people returning home from holidays in highly burdened areas and recommended the use of face mask at all indoors facilities. when the necessary distance is not possible to be kept.
Authorities are also carrying out randomised tests for the novel coronavirus on travellers returning to Athens from holidays at the ports of Piraeus and Rafina.
New restrictions were also imposed on the Aegean island of Mykonos and the northern Greek region of Halkidiki.