Half of Greece’s daily coronavirus cases have been linked to the Delta variant, according to Demetrios Thanos, President of the Biomedical Research Foundation at the Academy of Athens.
This determination proves that the fast-spreading Delta variant, first discovered in the country in late April of this year, has dug its claws into the country much more quickly than experts previously estimated.
The rise in cases of the Delta variant could explain the sharp rise in coronavirus cases recorded in Greece as of late.
Thanos claims that this increase in cases, as well as the presence of the Delta variant in the country, indicate that the country is already in its fourth wave of the virus.
The country recorded 3,109 cases of the virus on Tuesday, which was the first time since May that instances of the virus surpassed 3,000 in Greece. A total of 2,938 cases of Covid-19 were identified in Greece on Wednesday.
According to data released by the Greek National Healthcare Service, the Delta variant has spread widely throughout the country, mainly amongst the youth of the country.
Greece pushes to vaccinate its youth as Delta variant spreads
While around 40% of Greeks are fully vaccinated, just around 20% of those aged 18-25 in the country have been inoculated against the coronavirus.
This reticence to receive the vaccine amongst young Greeks has put health officials on edge, as members of the age group are most likely to attend social gatherings and go out to cafes and bars. This provides more opportunities for the virus to spread.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pushed to vaccinate Greece’s youth. One of his initiatives to convince young Greeks to get the shot involved offering 150 euros to all those between the ages of 18 and 25 who get vaccinated.
Additionally, Mitsotakis announced that all healthcare workers, as well as those who work in eldercare facilities and institutions for those with special needs and disabilities, would be required to receive the vaccine.
Mitsotakis also announced recently that only vaccinated people would be allowed to eat inside at restaurants and to enter indoor cultural institutions.
Immune-only venues and spaces in Greece will be only for those who have been fully vaccinated or have immunity through having had the virus in the last six months.
Everyone must also have the corresponding certificate to prove their status to gain access to the venues. The plan also allows for “mixed” venues which also grant access to the unvaccinated — but only if they have a negative a rapid or PCR test for Covid.
Protestors demonstrate against mandatory vaccinations in Greece
These moves to stop the spread of the virus have proved to be controversial, as some praised them, claiming that they would save lives, and others viewed them as a violation of their personal freedom.
Thousands of people protested against the mandatory vaccinations and other measures imposed by the Greek government to tackle the pandemic in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities around Greece on Wednesday.
Alongside the around 4,000 that turned out in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, police said several hundred people also took to the streets in the cities of Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Heraklion for the same reason.
Demonstrators complained that people who refuse to vaccinate for different reasons were having an increasingly difficult time in the country due to new measures for the unvaccinated, and that they should retain the right not to be vaccinated.
Although they are a minority in Greece according to several recent opinion polls, analysts say that their movement could grow, undermining the authorities’ efforts to vaccinate more Greeks.
2,794 coronavirus cases in Greece, 132 intubations, 6 deaths
The current figure marks 189 fewer instances of the virus than the 2,983 cases that had been recorded on Wednesday.
Just seven of Thursday’s total cases were identified during routine Covid-19 testing of tourists at the country’s borders.
Currently, there are 132 patients with the coronavirus on ventilators in Greece, which is three fewer than the number of patients undergoing the invasive treatment in the country yesterday, Wednesday.
Tragically, six people suffering from the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which is one fewer than those who died with the virus on Wednesday.