Update – 19/11/2021
November 19, 2021
November 19, 2021
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 861,117. 63 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 17,075. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 556. 7,317 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 1,871 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 1,242 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.
People that remain unvaccinated against Covid-19 will face the imposition of yet more restrictions beginning next week, according to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who made a televised address on Thursday amid an unrelenting surge in the pandemic in recent weeks.
More specifically, unvaccinated people will be barred from entering more indoor spaces including cinemas, museums and gyms as of Monday, November 22, to ensure, as Mitsotakis said, that Greece has a “better Christmas this year than last year.” Indicatively, unvaccinated adults, who until now were only excluded from indoor eateries, will no longer be able to access additional indoor venues with a negative Covid test result.
“It is an immediate act of protection and, of course, to urge people to get vaccinated,” he said. “The vaccine gives victory to people and not to disease,” he said, emphasizing that “today, more than 7 million Greeks have chosen the vaccine – three out of four adults.”
He bemoaned however that “575,000 fellow citizens over the age of 60 remain unprotected and we know that they are being hit hardest by the virus.” Almost 1.5 million of the same group, he noted, completed their vaccination six month ago. “Although protected, they become more vulnerable, as they have fewer antibodies,” he said. Bearing this in mind, Mitsotakis announced that the vaccination certificates of those aged over 60 would expire seven months after the completion of the initial shots. Given that a booster shot is necessary six month after the second dose of the vaccine, this means that this age group will be given a month to get it before their vaccination certificate loses its validity.
Staggered working hours will also apply in the public and private sectors in order to avoid overcrowding, especially at rush hour times and on public transport while special provisions will apply for parents with school children.
Mitsotakis also said inspections would be ramped up.
“Inspections will continue, even more intensively. There are no ‘suckers’ and ‘know-it-alls’ in a national battle. Everyone must enter it more decisively, taking on their responsibilities: the state, the local government, the scientific bodies but also the individual professional associations,” he said.
Regarding churchgoers, he said that unvaccinated churchgoers should have a negative laboratory test, as the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece has already called for.
A growing number of people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are catching the virus as their immunity wanes, official figures have indicated.
According to data presented on Thursday by Greece’s National Organization for Public Health (EODY), around 40% of new reported infections over the past few days have been among fully vaccinated people. Breakthrough infections also appear more prevalent among adults up to 59 years old.
Last Sunday, for example, 1,539 — or 39.8% — of the 3,869 infections reported concerned people who had completed vaccination and around 70% were in the that age range.
A breakdown of Sunday’s figures was also provided for the different vaccines.
Among those who had received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 40% were in the 40-59 age group, 30% were 18-39 and 15% were aged 60-79.
Likewise for the Moderna vaccine, 55% were 40-59 years old, 30% were 18-39 and 15% were aged 60-79.
The picture was different with regards to the AstraZeneca shots, which were mostly delivered within three months of each other. Here, the majority of breakthrough infections, or 45%, concerned people in the 60-79 age group, and 25% each were in the 18-39 and 40-59 categories.
However, the 18-39 age group accounted for 65% of all breakthrough infections with the single-shot Johnson&Johnson vaccine — which was taken up in large numbers by young people on the islands ahead of the start of the tourism season last April — while those aged 40-59 years old made up 25%.
Keeping closer track of breakthrough infections, EODY also plans to change the way it reports the trajectory of the virus in its daily bulletin by providing the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals among new cases and fatalities. Right now, the breakdown only concerns patients in intensive care.
In a related development, the emvolio.gov.gr platform opens on Friday for Covid-19 booster shot appointments for the general population.
Booster shots are advised for people over the age of 18 six months after having completed vaccinated with the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca shots.
People who took up the J&J shot in the first round can get a booster two months later.
Over 21,000 employees ignored the requirement to complete a rapid test before going in to work, the Labor Ministry’s Ergani system has found.
As reported by Kathimerini’s MoneyReview site, almost half (9,622) of the employees concerned are based in Attica.
The report said that the Labor Inspectorate has been informed of the details of those who failed to complete the test. Next week, fine demands will send to the employees by email or registered post.
Employees could face fines of €300 for each test missed, while employers could be fined €2,000 for failing to file the results of the rapid tests of their employees and a €10,000 fine for false declarations. (MoneyReview)
A decision by the Greek Health Ministry requisitioning the services of doctors in the private sector to help in state-run hospitals struggling under the burden of the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was published in the Government Gazette on Thursday.
The decision is directed at medics active in regions of northern Greece, where hospitals are at their limits: Western, Central and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, as well as Thessaly in central Greece.
Authorities are asking for pulmonologists, pathologists and general practitioners stating that their services will be needed, initially, for a period of one month.
Up until Nov. 16, the ministry had secured the voluntary participation of only around 40 private doctors through the medical associations, with at least half of them registered in the previous 24 hours, prompting the activation of the requisition procedures as this this number was deemed unsatisfactory based on the needs of the hospitals.
According to ministry estimates, more than 100 doctors in specific specialties are needed to support the National Health System (ESY) at this point.
In more detail, the 7,317 new cases detected per Regional Unit: