The number of Covid-19 patients on ventilators in Greece on Friday has reached record highs, as 790 people are currently undergoing the treatment in the country.
Friday’s figure marks 14 more than the previous record of 776 intubations, which was identified just yesterday, Thursday.
Greece recorded 2,747 cases of the coronavirus on Friday, which marks 481 fewer instances of Covid-19 than the 3,228 cases that had been diagnosed in the country on Thursday.
A total of 57,370 coronavirus tests were conducted across the country during the day, bringing the positivity rate to 4.79% in Greece, down from 5.52% yesterday.
Tragically, 78 people suffering from the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which represents five more than those who died with the virus on Thursday.
New anti-virus measures announced: Shops to open in Thessaloniki, Achaia, will remain closed in Kozani
Greek Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Chardalias announced on Friday that retail stores will open in Thessaloniki and Achaia on on Monday.
The decision comes after shop owners in the regions protested when stores opened across the country on April 5, except in Thessaloniki, Kozani, and Achaia.
Starting Monday, customers — with appointments — will be permitted to do their shopping under extremely strict anti-virus measures in Thessaloniki and Achaia, like in the rest of the country, Chardalias stated.
Stores will remain closed in Kozani, however.
Rather than sending a text message to the government’s toll free number 13033, used for all other movements under lockdown, Greeks will have to send a message to the number 13032 to go shopping.
Greeks can either shop with “click-away,” or curbside pickup, or with “click in shop,” which involves making purchases inside of the store. Both require a prior appointment.
Greeks can send only one message to make non essential purchases each day, and they can only shop within a three-hour window.
In order to maintain social distancing, stores will be allowed to host one customer per 25 square meters (269 square feet), and a maximum of 20 shoppers in total.
AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 restricted to Greeks over 30
The Greek National Vaccination Committee agreed to restrict distribution of the AstraZeneca to Greeks over the age of 30 on Friday.
The decision follows a statement regarding the vaccine from the the European Medicines Agency, the EU’s drug regulator, on Wednesday.
The EMA admitted that there was a possible link between the UK-made vaccine and a rare blood clotting disorder, called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).
The drug regulator stressed, however, that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine still outweigh risks.
The EMA described the clots which have occurred as “very rare” side effects. It said most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60, and within two weeks of vaccination. However, based on the currently available evidence, it was not able to identify specific risk factors.
Experts reviewed several dozen cases that came mainly from Europe and the United Kingdom, where around 25 million people have received the AstraZeneca vaccine so far.
Greece’s Vaccination Committee chose to restrict distribution of the vaccine to those over the age of 30, following a similar move made in the UK.
1,248 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed Attica alone; 379 in Thessaloniki
Of the 2,747 coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 1,248 were located in Attica, home to the Greek capital city of Athens.
Instances of the virus were particularly high in the center of the city itself, where 326 cases of Covid-19 were identified Friday.
Piraeus, Athens’ port city, had a total of 204 instances of the virus on Friday.
Tests showed that in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 379 cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed in the last 24 hours.
Total 290,964 coronavirus cases in Greece since the start of the pandemic
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 290,964 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, including all those who have recovered from the virus.
Of the cases diagnosed in Greece in the past seven days, just 99 are associated with foreign travel and 2,978 have been linked to contact with a known case.
Of the 790 patients intubated currently, 82.4% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. Their average age is 67.
On Friday alone, 559 people with the coronavirus were admitted to hospitals in Greece.
Additionally, a total of 1,839 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The 78 new deaths recorded on Friday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 8,758; 95.7% of those who have passed away with the virus were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.