Update – 23/11/2021
November 23, 2021
November 23, 2021
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 886,207. 105 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 17,425. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 608. 7,287 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 1,711 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 1,149 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.
The largest number of daily deaths from the coronavirus for 2021 was announced Monday, with 105 patients losing their lives while the number of intubations climbed to 608.
As pressure mounts on the country’s National Health System, and with authorities announcing 7,287 new cases Monday, experts’ calls for people to get vaccinated seem to be bearing fruit as vaccination appointments appear to be on the rise.
In the last 30 days, 1.2 million appointments were booked for booster shots and 444,000 appointments were made for the first dose of the vaccine, Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis told Skai TV. At the weekend alone, 187,000 appointments were scheduled for booster shots.
More than 6,910,000 citizens have received at least one dose of the vaccine, a figure that, according to Pierrakakis, will exceed 7 million within a week. Tellingly, unlike what was observed in the previous quarter, when anyone who wanted to get vaccinated could do so even on the same day, more patience is needed now as the waiting time is up to 10 days at some centers.
The recommendations of the National Vaccination Committee for vaccinated patients who are ill are expected to be announced Tuesday at noon, while booster shots on small islands are already being administered and will continue next week.
Meanwhile, as a raft of new restrictions were introduced Monday aimed at curbing a spike in Covid-19 cases, the government ruled out a return to a general lockdown, but Health Minister Thanos Plevris said the current measures would be reassessed in two weeks.
“We have not yet reached absolutely restrictive measures for the unvaccinated as has happened with other countries,” he said Monday in comments to Antenna TV.
The measures include mandatory mask use at workplaces, as well as staggered working hours in the private and public sector to prevent overcrowding on public transport. They also ban unvaccinated adults from entering indoor recreation and entertainment spaces. What’s more, further capacity limits and entry restrictions have been imposed at courts and places of worship.
Referring to the issue of compulsory vaccination, Plevris reiterated that “the government has said very clearly that this measure only concerns health professionals and those who work with people who belong to vulnerable groups.”
Minister of Health Thanos Plevris said Monday that cases of the coronavirus will continue rising, adding that there are two likely pathways for the disease.
The good scenario, he told reporters in the Greek Parliament, is that the pandemic will peak in the first week of December; the bad scenario sees the peak after Christmas.
Plevris reiterated that “there will be no (generalized lockdown), nor is there a recommendation to that effect from the scientific committee” advising the government. The reason: “73% of the adult population has been vaccinated and is not at risk of serious disease,” the minister said.
And, although the minister said that booster shots are “going very well,” he conceded that, as pressure on the health system from the current pandemic wave rises, “we do not have the number of vaccinations we want…there is no interest from the elderly for the first dose.” He clarified that the unvaccinated over the age of 60 are by and large not interested in jabs.
Bookings for first doses of the vaccines have surged in recent weeks, following the spike in new infections, but they come mostly from younger people.
“We will have a difficult winter ahead of us,” Maria Theodoridou, President of the National Vaccination Committee, said during Monday’s regular briefing of the media.
Theodoridou said that persons who take the booster shot develop additional immunity very fast, with antibodies rising just two or three days after the shot.
She added that the third dose of the vaccines has helped reduce the spread of the virus and the number of cases.
Theodoridou noted that the virus’ Delta mutation has increased re-infection in people who have been sick and vaccinated, and pointed out that booster shots offer the best possible immunity. She cautioned that natural immunity alone is not able to protect 100% from the coronavirus as several studies have established.
“We have exceeded 13,860,000 vaccinations. More than 6,910,000 of our fellow citizens have been vaccinated with at least one dose, which corresponds to 65.8% of the general population and 75.3% of the adult population,” said Marios Themistokleous, Secretary General for Primary Health Care at the Ministry of Health.
“More than 6,550,000 … have completed their vaccination, which corresponds to 62.3% of the general population and 71.8% of the adult population…the vaccination program is in full swing, we have the capacity for over 110,000 vaccinations a day,” he added.
The total number of scheduled appointments for the Covid-19 booster vaccine is expected to exceed 100,000 on Monday, a Health Ministry official said.
Speaking during the daily briefing on the national vaccination coverage plan, Marios Themistokleous, secretary general for primary health care in the ministry, said that of the 2.8 million people entitled to apply for the booster, 922,000 have already taken their extra vaccine shot and 700,000 have scheduled their appointment.
In more detail, the 7,287 new cases detected per Regional Unit: