Update – 26/11/2021
November 26, 2021
November 26, 2021
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 908,222. 78 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 17,693. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 621. 6,565 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 1,750 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 1,148 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.
Ten hospitals in Greece will begin administering the 2,000 doses of monoclonal antibodies Greece has received, the ministries of Health and of Digital Governance announced on Thursday.
The monoclonal antibodies will be administered to high-risk Covid-19 patients who belong in vulnerable groups. Hospitals included are two public ones in Athens (Sotiria, Sismanoglio), two in Thessaloniki (Ahepa, Papageorgiou), and the general hospitals of Alexandroupoli, Iraklio, Ioannina, Larissa, Lamia and Patras-Rio.
Doctors will be able to prescribe the therapy and initiate the application process. Patients must be aged 12 or over, and they must have been confirmed coronavirus-positive with a PCR test over the last 5 days.
Two-thirds of voters would be in favor of making Covid vaccination mandatory for occupational categories who have contact with large groups of people, but 20% would be opposed, according to the results of an opinion poll published on Thursday.
The Pulse poll for private broadcaster SKAI found that 56% of respondents would support the even greater tightening of restrictive measures for the unvaccinated.
The poll also asked those who were vaccinated in the last two months what led to their change of mind. Some 38% answered that they sought the vaccine on the basis of information from doctors/scientists, 24% because of the deterioration in the pandemic situation and 19% out of a concern for their own and their family’s health.
Only 6% said they took the vaccine because it was mandatory for work and 6% because of the government’s restrictions on the unvaccinated.
Among the unvaccinated, 48% said they would refuse to be inoculated while a quarter said they would need “more information” to change their mind.
The poll also found that ruling New Democracy enjoys a 10-point lead over main opposition SYRIZA, with 33% of respondents saying they would vote for the party of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis compared to 23% for Alexis Tsipras’ party.
According to the same survey, the centrist Movement for Change would garner 9.5%, followed by the Communist Party on 5.5%, the extreme nationalist Greek Solution on 4%, MeRA25 of former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Greeks for the Fatherland of jailed former neo-Nazi MP Ilias Kasidiaris both on 3%.
On the question of suitability for prime minister, 40% of respondents said Mitsotakis compared to 24%, in favor of Tsipras. About a third of respondents said neither man was suitable.
Ten people – including a pharmacist, a police officer and a soldier – were arrested in the northeastern border region of Evros, as part of an ongoing investigation into bogus certificates of rapid antigen tests that were issued to several people.
According to the evidence collected so far, the pharmacist supplied clients, such as the officer and the soldier, with certificates showing that they had taken a rapid Covid test, who in turn presented the negative result to their employers.
The government has mandated two negative Covid tests every week for the unvaccinated, as a way of putting pressure on them to get the jab. Only healthcare workers are required to be vaccinated to continue to work in the national healthcare system.
The police’s Internal Affairs Division took over the investigation due to the involvement of the two state officials and Greek Police (ELAS) is expected to make formal announcements once the inquiry wraps up.
Europe is once again “at the center” of the Covid-19 epidemic, the World Health Organization’s Regional Director Hans Kluge told the Athens Health Summit organized by Kathimerini.
The WHO official emphasized the importance of managing the health crisis “on the basis of science, not politics,” noting that Covid-19 had exacerbated international inequalities. Only 48% of Europeans wear masks indoors, he said. “If that figure rose to 95%, we would save 164,000 lives in Europe by March 1.”
European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides focused on the success of the Europe-wide vaccination campaign, saying that 75% of adult Europeans are now fully vaccinated.
But the vaccination campaigns will have to be complemented by measures, such as the mandatory use of masks indoors and teleworking, said Peter Piot, noted virologist and special adviser to the president of the European Commission on Covid-19.
Asked about the new drugs to fight Covid-19, Piot said it would be an important weapon, especially where there is a high transmissibility, such as nursing homes. “It’s important to have something effective and easy to administer,” especially at the start of the infection and, if possible before the hospitalization, he said, adding that it will take about 5-6 months before there is a mass supply of these drugs.
Regarding the percentage of vaccinations needed to achieve herd immunity in the population, Piot said that it now stands at 90%. He said the vaccine prevents hospitalizations, but is not as successful in stopping transmission.
“It is, however, a very important weapon. We have to reach 90% so that we will just need a booster dose every year.”
Discussing the future of the pharmaceutical industry, Stelios Papadopoulos, chairman of biotechnology firm Biogen, said his company is “undoubtedly redefining the way we think about every aspect of our business” due to the changes in, among other things, the way drugs are made, clinical trials, distribution, supply chain and marketing.
George Yancopoulos, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, said that the artificial intelligence currently being used simply detects data patterns, and that its use and performance in the health sector should be enhanced. He said companies will have to look at the potential of data use, as it is currently unstructured and needs proper processing.
In more detail, the 6,565 new cases detected per Regional Unit: