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COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise in Greece as Struggle with Delta Variant Continues

Credit: Greek Reporter

The newly recorded COVID-19 cases in Greece remained high on Saturday, as the country tries to cope with the spread of the Delta variant.

A total of 2,472 new cases were announced by EODY, the Greek Public Health Organization, down from the 2,854 cases that were recorded across the nation on Friday and 2,604 cases that had been recorded on Thursday.

Currently, there are 133 patients with the coronavirus on ventilators in Greece, which is  three more than the number of patients yesterday, Friday.

Additionally, a total of 18 patients had to be intubated across the country due to complications from the novel coronavirus. In the last 24 hours eight people suffering from the COVID-19 disease passed away in the country.

A total of 95,324 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours showing a positivity rate of 2.59 per cent today. In Athens, 985 new cases were recorded while 245 cases were detected in Thessaloniki and 129 in Heraklion, on Crete. Fifteen more cases were identified in the entrance points of the country, namely airports, borders and sea ports.

Delta variant spreads in Greece, creating a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”

Panagiotis Arkoumaneas, President of the Greek National Organization for Public Health urged recently those who have remained unvaccinated in Greece to get the shot, as he noted that 99% of people with the virus in the hospital, including those on ventilators, are unvaccinated.

“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he stressed. The Delta variant is much more contagious than the standard virus and even its other variants, and vaccine hesitancy in Greece could provide the perfect environment for the dangerous variant to spread.

Approximately 52 percent of the Greek population is now vaccinated with at least one dose, and 44 percent have had both their doses or were vaccinated with a single dose vaccine.

Greek Olympians told to isolate for COVID-19

Greece’s Olympic team has been caught in the fall-out of the massive Czech team coronavirus scandal.

Although the names of the athletes affected have not been released, the Greek team has been in Tokyo since July 16 and all tests they have undertaken so far for the coronavirus have been negative, meaning that they will hopefully be allowed out of isolation soon.

The Greek Olympians were on the same flight as a group of Czech athletes who ended up being a part of a “cluster” of Covid-19 cases. The flight has caused a national scandal in the Czech Republic, as there was a doctor on board, Vlastimil Voráček, who has refused to become vaccinated — and he himself was the first to test positive in Tokyo.

Subsequently, four Czech athletes tested positive, including two beach volleyball players, a road cyclist, and a table tennis player. There are reports that there were breaches of Covid-19 protocol on the plane and that people took off their face masks immediately after take-off, which has spurred much criticism in the Czech Republic, volleyed mainly towards Voráček and the Czech Olympic Committee.

A Greek athlete, a coach, and a physiotherapist were sitting near a positive case on the flight. This has meant that they have had to enter total isolation — however, members of the Greek delegation are campaigning for a loosening of the isolation for the athlete, as track and field Olympians have been in Tokyo for eight days and all have so far tested negative for Covid-19.

A saving grace comes in the form of the Olympic schedule, which happens to have track and field events set for July 30, giving the athlete enough time to complete a 14-day quarantine before he or she must compete.

Russian Airlines resume flights to Greece

Russian airlines resumed on Saturday its regular flights to Greece, as well as France, the Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lebanon, Croatia, and Ethiopia.

Russian airlines plan to provide seven flights a week from Russia to Greece, arriving in Thessaloniki and Heraklion on the beautiful island of Crete.

However, the Russian government advises citizens to get vaccinated before traveling abroad.

Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation also stated that the treatment of Russian tourists who fall ill while on vacation is not the responsibility of the country hosting them.

The renewal in airline service to Greece and other countries comes at a tense time in Greece’s fight against the coronavirus.

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