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Update – 15/09/2021

corona virus

As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 620,355. 31 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 14,268. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 369. 2,919 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 606 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 409 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.

The suspension of unvaccinated doctors and other health workers in effect since September 1, meant as a warning and as an incentive to get inoculated, have resulted in personnel shortages across the public health system.

According to the Health Ministry, some 5,500 health workers and other personnel at public hospitals have been suspended, with another 1,000 told they can’t work at primary healthcare centers.

The problems are more acute in places with few personnel to begin with, such as on several islands, according to the union of state hospital employees. On the island of Naxos, for example, both surgeons, one of two microbiologists, two out of five lab technicians, two out of seven cleaners and five out of 30 nurses have been suspended. On the smaller island of Amorgos, four out of eight employees are not going in to work.

Newly appointed Health Minister Thanos Plevris tried to put a good spin on the situation. “There are certainly some dysfunctions – I want to be upfront – but those are manageable,” he responded Tuesday to a parliamentary inquiry by SYRIZA MP Andreas Xanthos, health minister in the previous leftist-led government. “We consider that, as the days pass and personnel that get vaccinated resume their duties, and with the activation of three-month contracts [with private sector healthcare providers], even these dysfunctions will be eliminated,” he added.

In fact, officials are worried enough that they are considering relaxing the terms of the suspension, allowing personnel who have taken one of the two required vaccine doses back to work. No final decisions have been made about this.

The problem with health workers points to a more general issue concerning the reluctance of people to get vaccinated. Despite all sorts of enticements, incentives and ceaseless messaging, just 56% of the population is fully vaccinated. This drops to 49% for people aged 18-24, who are increasingly getting sick from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

And at schools, which opened Monday and are feared to become new bases for the spread of the disease, less than one in four 12- to 17-year-olds are vaccinated. It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ promise over the weekend of 50 gigabytes of free data for the smartphones of 15- to 17-year-olds will provide any kind of inducement.

Just over a fifth of Greece’s police officers remain unvaccinated but there are no plans to make it mandatory for them, Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said on Tuesday.

The minister told private broadcaster SKAI that he believed a “systematic effort” to get the remaining 22% of police inoculated would soon produce results.

“Some younger guys are of the opinion that they will not get sick and are not in danger, but I think life has shown us that the opposite is the case. We are continuing the very systematic effort to vaccinate them and I believe that we will have results in this regard.”

He also said that as 70% of criminal activity takes place in the Attica region, the police presence in and around Athens would be increased.

The focus of the police would be on combatting drug gangs and the issue of drugs in general, he underlined.

In more detail, the 2,919 new cases detected per Regional Unit:

  • Attica 606
    • Eastern Attica 98
    • Northern Sector of Athens  63
    • West Attica 44
    • Western Sector of Athens 84
    • Central Sector of Athens 147
    • Southern Sector of Athens 69
    • Piraeus 92
    • Islands 9
  • Thessaloniki 409
  • Etoloakarnania 46
  • Andros 1
  • Argolida 47
  • Arcadia 15
  • Arta 11
  • Achaia 96
  • Boeotia 36
  • Grevena 4
  • Drama 57
  • Evros 35
  • Evia 29
  • Evritania 6
  • Zakynthos 5
  • Ilia 27
  • Imathia 89
  • Heraklion 61
  • Thassos 1
  • Thesprotia 17
  • Thira 11
  • Ikaria 5
  • Ioannina 40
  • Kavala 80
  • Kalymnos 4
  • Karditsa 20
  • Kastoria 40
  • Corfu 50
  • Kefalonia 7
  • Kilkis 21
  • Kozani 55
  • Corinth 62
  • Kos 5
  • Laconia 16
  • Larissa 112
  • Lasithi 10
  • Lesvos 10
  • Lefkada 13
  • Lemnos 3
  • Magnesia 31
  • Messinia 36
  • Mykonos 19
  • Naxos 10
  • Xanthi 64
  • Paros 2
  • Pella 73
  • Pieria 88
  • Preveza 9
  • Rethymno 10
  • Rodopi 29
  • Rhodes 83
  • Samos 5
  • Serres 39
  • Sporades 4
  • Syros 6
  • Tinos 1
  • Trikala 32
  • Fthiotida 32
  • Florina 10
  • Fokida 1
  • Chalkidiki 44
  • Chania 36
  • Chios 8
  • Under investigation 64

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