Greece is starting to see a decline in coronavirus cases for the second consecutive week, according to the latest government figures, however pediatrics professor and member of the coronavirus pandemic experts committee Vana Papaevangelou has cautioned the public not to get complacent and relaxed just yet.
During a regular briefing, Papaevangelou said the National Health System (NHS) continues to be under pressure. Plain beds for Covid-19 have reached 67% capacity throughout the country and beds in Covid-dedicated ICUs an 80% capacity.
The specialist called for people to get vaccinated with the booster shot, especially those over 50, and asserted that the National Organization for Medicines (EOF) had not received any reports of serious after-effects of the third dose in Greece.
She also said that the appointments platform for the vaccination of children aged 5-11 will open on Friday.
At the same briefing, epidemiology professor and fellow committee member Gkikas Magiorkinis also referred to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Despite the exponential rise of diagnoses in South Africa, they do not appear to be followed by a corresponding rise in deaths, he said, although hospitalizations did rise. He said that time would "show the effect of Omicron on countries with better rates of vaccination, as in the United Kingdom, where Omicron is doubled every 2-3 days approximately."
Magiorkinis said that new diagnoses of the virus dropped by 11% this week, with a slight rise in deaths by 3%. There is a definite trend of stabilization in admissions, he noted: although the number of patients in ICUs rose sharply by 8%, new admissions dropped by 8%. The admissions-to-discharges ratio is nearly 1:3, he said.