Plevris: It makes sense to extend COVID-19 measures for another week

Greece athens greek flag Plevris

The epidemiological experts' committee will most likely decide to extend the measures against the spread of COVID-19 at their meeting later in the day, Health Minister Thanos Plevris indicated while speaking to the public broadcaster ERT on Wednesday.

"There is a great concern," Plevris said, adding: "It appears that the Omicron peak happened much earlier than expected but there is tremendous pressure on the National Health System from the Delta variant."

"While the Omicron variant is at 90 percent in the community, the percentage is [more evenly] divided in hospitals as there are citizens who were infected with Delta during the Christmas holidays," he said.

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"So, it makes sense, in order to monitor the phenomenon, for the measures to be extended," the minister continued.

"We will wait for the scientists recommendations but there is a common view among all the scientists that the measures should run for 20-25 days and therefore, if there is a decision to extend them, it will be for another week," Plevris explained.

Scientists and the health ministry are concerned because of the more serious Delta cases in hospitals and the "hard indicators" of the pandemic, namely the number of intubations and new deaths, which do not appear to be improving at present.

Greece confirmed 23,340 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, with 53 of these identified at entry points to the country, the National Public Health Organisation (EODY) said on Tuesday.

Since the pandemic began, Greece has confirmed 1,703,396 infections (daily change: +1.4 pct). In the confirmed cases of the last 7 days, 443 infections are related to travel from abroad and 2,214 to other confirmed cases.

There are also 106 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 22,197. Of these, 95 pct had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or over.

A total of 673 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 65 years and 80.1 pct have an underlying condition and/or are aged 70 or over. Of the total, 548 (81.43 pct) are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated and 125 (18.57 pct) are fully vaccinated.

Another 3,916 have been discharged from ICUs since the pandemic began.

In addition, 475 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours (daily change: +0.64 pct). The average admission of patients with COVID-19 to hospitals over the last 7 days was 552.

The median age of new infections is 36 years (range: 0.2 to 106 years), while the median age of the deceased is 78 (range: 0.2 to 106 years).

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