Experts and the government are anxiously watching the rapid course of the mutated Omicron strain in Greece as they try to curb the number of new COVID-19 infections and new admissions of patients to hospitals.
The data available so far show that the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant may reach 70% of the daily cases in recent days in Attica, while increasing trends are recorded in the rest of Greece.
At the same time, once again the young people are leading the COVID-19 pandemic, as had happened in the summer with the difference, except for the season, being the variation as then it was Delta and now it is Omicron.
The transmission of the virus to ages 18-59 years - mainly 18 to 30 - due to the increased mobility is now reflected in the epidemiological data.
As the Minister of Health, Mr. Thanos Plevris, stated yesterday, three in four cases (75%) involve people aged 18-59 years, while one in five (30%) are under 18 years old.
In contrast, only 6% of the spread concerns adults aged 60 and over.
"The festive days pass in the shadow of the new mutation, Omicron, and the data that exist to date and that have been found show a high transmissibility of the virus," said Maria Theodoridou, chairwoman of the National Vaccination Committee.
According to the data quoted, a pre-published study from South Africa shows that the risk of hospitalisation with the COVID-19 Omicron variant is lower compared to Delta and the duration of hospitalisation is also 40% shorter.
The mortality data still need documentation, while the risk of re-infections with the Omicron mutation appears to be much higher.
"The severity of the disease is milder, but we should always keep in mind that, due to the high increased transmissibility of the strain, it can significantly burden the health systems," added the expert.
Although new patient admissions to hospitals over the past 24 hours have been below 400 and Omicron dominance is estimated to be milder, “we need to keep in mind that health systems," pointed out Theodoridou.
She added that the third dose is the main weapon in dealing with variant.
According to the data, 4,365,000 citizens have been vaccinated (75.6% of the eligible population).
Since the beginning COVID-19 vaccinations, 17,060,000 vaccinations have been carried out, 7,415,000 people have been vaccinated with first dose (70.6%) and 7,000,000 have completed their vaccination (66.4%).
About 3,700 patients are now being treated in hospitals, and about one in three in Attica.
Another 800 patients are in Crete.