Update – 20/09/2021
September 20, 2021
September 20, 2021
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 630,784. 33 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 14,466. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 348. 1,305 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 230 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 226 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.
As 1.3 million schoolchildren return to classes this Autumn all over Greece, as many as 50,000 Greek teenagers aged 12-18 may contract Covid-19 over the next months, according to one expert.
Nikos Tzanakis, a respiratory disease expert who is the vice president of the Hellenic Thoracic Society, told interviewers on Mega TV that people are so susceptible to the burgeoning Delta variant of the virus that as many as 50,000 youngsters could be infected this Fall.
While schools across Greece have reopened, students are not required to be inoculated, although all those 12 and up can receive the vaccine if they so choose. Tzanakis stated there are 730,000-750,000 children in that cohort; up to 200,000 of them could be exposed to the coronavirus in school settings, according to his calculations.
There are also a total of 140,000 teachers who have resumed teaching across the country; they are required to either show proof of vaccination, test negative for the virus or show proof of antibodies against the virus, according to a ruling that was issued in July.
Meanwhile, officials from the New Democracy government have declared that if half a school is infected with the virus, the school will be closed.
“According to conservative estimates, 25 percent, that is approximately 30,000 to 50,000 children, will be infected,” Tzanakis stated, adding that if this comes to pass, he estimates that this would mean that between 300-500 would be hospitalized.
He then urged parents to get their teenagers vaccinated as soon as possible. “I don’t want to scare anybody here, but parents should be aware of these figures,” Tzanakis warned.
Meanwhile, there is no sign that Greece’s anti-vaxxer community is paying any attention to any such urgings, despite repeated government advisories and warnings.
As the new academic year looms, university teaching staff and students will be able to attend courses in person only upon the presentation of a vaccination certificate, a certificate showing that the holder has recovered from Covid within the last six months or a document showing a negative result of a laboratory test that they will have to undertake twice a week at their own expense.
In particular, the Education Ministry has ordained that unvaccinated teaching staff and students will have to present a certificate with a negative molecular or rapid test result every Tuesday and Friday. The test must have been done up to 48 hours before their arrival at the universities.
Moreover, as of September 30, students of health sciences schools participating in an educational process or internship at public or private health units where vaccinations are mandatory, can only attend after they submit proof that they have been administered at least the first dose of a vaccine against Covid-19.
In more detail, the 1,305 new cases detected per Regional Unit: