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Covid-19: Greece Announces Plans to Reopen Despite High Case Numbers

Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece recorded 831 patients with Covid-19 on ventilators Wednesday, which is 16 fewer than the record-high 847 patients undergoing the invasive treatment in the country yesterday, Tuesday.

The country also recorded 3,015 cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, which marks 774 fewer instances of Covid-19 than the 3,789 cases that had been diagnosed in the country on Tuesday.

A total of 61,323 coronavirus tests were conducted across the country during the day, bringing the positivity rate to 4.91% in Greece, up from 4.83% yesterday.

Tragically, 86 people suffering from the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which represents one fewer than those who died with the virus on Tuesday.

Three step plan out of lockdown

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made an announcement on Wednesday regarding Greece’s way out of lockdown.

In his announcement, Mitsotakis outlined a three step process to ease lockdown restrictions in Greece.

According to the plan, Greece will be almost entirely out of lockdown by mid-May.

The first step in getting out of lockdown is the opening of cafes and restaurants, which is to occur on May 3rd.

The curfew will also be loosened to only restrict travel between 11:00 PM and 5:00 AM.

There will be multiple safeguards in place for dining, including mandatory coronavirus self-testing for employees, a specific distance between tables, and all other hygiene standards.

The second step is the resumption of in-person schooling on May 10th for middle school and elementary school students. Coronavirus self-testing will also be used to facilitate this part of easing lockdown, with testing mandatory for students and staff.

The third and final move is to allow tourism to resume on May 14th. Visitors from abroad who have been vaccinated or have a negative coronavirus test will be allowed into the country without entering into quarantine.

Furthermore, inter-regional travel within Greece will also be permitted.

1,418 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed Attica alone; 442 in Thessaloniki

Of the 3,015 coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 1,418 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 422 cases of Covid-19 were identified Wednesday.

Tests showed that in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 442 cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed in the last 24 hours.

Vaccine platform opens for Greeks 55-59, age group 50-54 soon to follow

Greece’s vaccination platform has opened for those aged 55 to 59 on Wednesday, allowing them to make an appointment for the shot on the government website.

Those in the 50 to 54 age range will be permitted to schedule appointments for the vaccine in Greece starting Saturday, April 24.

According to Marios Themistokleous, Greek Secretary General for Primary Health Care, the vaccination platform will open to younger people depending on how quickly those aged 50-59 are inoculated.

So far, a total of 2,546,154 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been distributed in Greece, of which 1,774,130 were the first dose of the shot.

In Greece, 772,024 people have received both doses of the inoculation.

Vaccinations in the country may begin to move at a faster pace in May, when distribution of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines are set to begin in the country.

This map shows the total number of vaccinations in Greece by region:

Benefits outweigh risks for Johnson & Johnson coronavirus shot

The European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), acknowledged a link between the single-dose Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine and instances of blood clots in the US on Tuesday.

Considering the connection between the vaccine and dangerous blood clots, although rare, the EMA stressed that a warning of the serious side effect should be included on the vaccine’s label.

The EMA argues, however, that much like the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has also been linked to blood clots in women under 60, the benefits of being inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson shot far outweigh the risks.

According to the most recent numbers, the risk of suffering the rare condition is about one case per one million inoculations with the shot.

Over 300,000 total cases of the Covid-19 identified in the country

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 323,639 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 61 are associated with foreign travel and 2,833 have been linked to contact with a known case.

Of the 831 patients intubated currently, 85.7% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. Their average age is 68.

On Wednesday alone, 556 people with the coronavirus were admitted to hospitals in Greece.

Additionally, a total of 1,976 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

The 86 new deaths recorded on Wednesday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 9,713; 95.5% of those who have passed away with the virus were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.

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