Transmission of Covid-19 has surged in Greece for yet another day, with the country recording 1,151 cases on Wednesday, which represents 110 fewer than the 1,261 cases that were diagnosed in the country one day earlier, on Tuesday.
Previously, the number of daily cases in Greece had remained in the triple digits for nearly one month. Teo days ago, on Monday, Greece had identified just 543 cases of the coronavirus.
Tragically, 27 people with the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which is five more than those recorded yesterday.
Currently, 246 patients with Covid-19 are now intubated in Greece, two more than those who were intubated in the country on Tuesday.
The almost exponential rise in cases in the country comes as the transmission of the virus has increased by approximately 40% in Attica, home to Athens, the Greek capital.
A total of 612 cases of the coronavirus were diagnosed in Attica alone on Wednesday.
Cases are particularly high in Athens, Greece’s most populous city, as well. In total, 209 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the center of the city over the past 24-hour period.
In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 83 cases were identified in the last 24 hours.
Transmission of the virus has also jumped in Evia and Achaia, where 71 and 82 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed Wednesday, respectively.
Tsiodras to Greek Parliament: “The virus is not over”
Sotiris Tsiodras, an eminent epidemiologist and member of Greece’s special coronavirus committee, reminded Parliamentarians on Wednesday that the coronavirus is “not over” in Greece.
After Tuesday’s dramatic spike in cases, along with increased hospital admissions and transmission in Attica, Tsiodras expressed his concern to Greece’s lawmakers.
In Attica, transmission of the coronavirus has increased by 78%, and experts estimate that there are over 4,000 active cases of the virus in the region alone.
Additionally, Tsiodras is concerned about the presence of both the UK and South African variants in Greece.
As many as 7,000 — 8,000 new cases a week- Tsiodras
The epidemiologist stated Wednesday that, if left to spread, the viral mutations could cause “problems even until early March” in the country.
Considering these significant epidemiological factors, including samples taken from wastewater across the country, Tsiodras estimates that Greece could soon see 7,000 to 8,000 new cases recorded each week.
While there hasn’t yet been increased pressure on the nation’s ICUs from the most recent surge, Tsiodras noted that hospitals tend to see a wave of new admissions a few days to one week after cases spike.
In total, 1,562 patients with Covid-19 are currently hospitalized in Greece, 75% of whom are over the age of 55.
Greek officials recommend AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 65
Greece’s National Vaccination Commission has officially endorsed the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in those aged 18 to 64.
The decision parts with the recommendation from the European Union’s pharmaceutical regulator, the European Medicines Association, which approved the vaccine for all ages.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, like its previously-approved counterparts, is considered highly safe and effective for adults over the age of 18.
However, just a small portion, 12%, of AstraZeneca’s research participants were over the age of 55, leading to doubts about the safety of the vaccine for older people.
With the move, Greece joins Germany, France, Italy, Poland, and Belgium, who have all hesitated to approve the vaccine for those over 65.
Total 159,866 cases diagnosed in Greece
In total, 159,866 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country since the beginning of the pandemic, including all those who have recovered from the virus.
Of this total, 5,999 are associated with foreign travel, and 50,438 are associated with contact with a known case.
Of the 246 patients intubated currently, 86.6% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. Their median age is 68, and 177 of the patients are male.
Additionally, a total of 1,138 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The 27 new deaths recorded on Wednesday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 5,878. Of all those who lost their lives after suffering from the virus, a total of 3,457 have been male.
The median age of those who passed away with Covid-19 is 79, and 95.5% of them were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.