Update – 10/02/2022
February 10, 2022
February 10, 2022
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 2,109,999. 87 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 24,410. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 515. 19,618 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 5,101 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 2,391 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.
Following in the footsteps of other European countries, the government is gearing up for the gradual lifting of the few remaining measures by March, with an eye on fully opening up the economy.
More specifically, there are likely to be no restrictive measures other than the use of a mask, which is expected to remain with society in the foreseeable future.
However, the lifting of measures applies exclusively to vaccinated people, and all restrictions – like entering indoor areas – will remain for the unvaccinated.
This trend of lifting restrictions and returning to normal life has already been witnessed throughout Europe, as was evident at Wednesday’s Joint Conference of European Union Foreign and Health Ministers in Lyon.
Kathimerini understands that the prevailing view in all discussions was that lifting the measures and restrictions is now imperative, with the health ministers of the member-states on the same page.
The first measures that will reportedly be scrapped over the coming period until the end of February are those that concern either the customer capacities in restaurants/bars or the number of seats.
Well-informed sources ruled out both restrictions being lifted at the same time, stressing that it will be one or the other.
The aim is for there to be no restrictions by the beginning of March.
Nevertheless, the ban on carnival events this year will not be scrapped and will apply.
Unless something changes, a full opening of the economy is expected from mid-March. This will ensure that a normal Easter period will follow, beginning on April 24. A week later, on May 1, the government also plans to announce a raise in the minimum wage.
The government will also have to contend with another, potential, problem, as around 300,000 Greeks who did not get booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine seven months after their second dose are considered unvaccinated.
Regardless, government officials appear confident that many of these people will get their boosters, and cite the rising number of appointments. Indicatively, over the last few days, about 35,000 appointments have been booked for booster shots. At this rate, in early March most of the 300,000 will have been fully vaccinated.
The World Health Organization says coronavirus case counts fell 17% worldwide over the last week compared to the previous week, including a 50% drop in the United States, while deaths globally declined 7%, the World Health Organization says.
The weekly epidemiological report from the UN health agency, released late Tuesday, shows that the Omicron variant is increasingly dominant – making up nearly 97% of all cases tallied by the international virus-tracking platform known as GISAID. Just over 3% were of the delta variant.
“The prevalence of the Omicron variant has increased globally and is now detected in almost all countries,” WHO said. “However, many of the countries which reported an early rise in the number of cases due to the Omicron variant have now reported a decline in the total number of new cases since the beginning of January 2022.”
All told, WHO reported more than 19 million new cases of Covid-19 and under 68,000 new deaths during the week from Jan 31 to Feb 6. As with all such tallies, experts say such figures are believed to greatly underestimate the real toll.
Case counts fell in each of WHO’s six regions except its eastern Mediterranean zone, which reported a 36% jump, notably with increases in Afghanistan, Iran and Jordan.
In Europe, case counts fell 7% – led by declines in places like France and Germany – even as countries in eastern Europe like Azerbaijan, Belarus and Russia posted increases. In the Americas, case counts fell 36%, with the United States – still the single most-affected country – reporting 1.87 million new cases, down 50% from the previous week.
WHO cited limited data about the effectiveness of vaccines against the Omicron variant, while saying estimates showed reduced protection of the first series of Covid-19 vaccines against the variant for severe disease, symptomatic disease and infection. Vaccines were most effective to prevent severe disease from Omicron.
The agency said booster doses increase estimates of vaccine effectiveness to over 75% for all vaccines for which data are available, though the rates declined after three to six months after injection.
In more detail, the 19,618 new cases detected per Regional Unit: