A Greek epidemiologist is now calling for double masking around the country as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to cause havoc throughout the country.
Greece recorded the highest-ever number of coronavirus cases this week, with 4,608 new cases announced on Tuesday.
The majority of the new cases are thought by experts to be from the much more contagious Delta variant, causing one expert, epidemiologist Athina Linou, an epidemiology professor at the University of Athens, to call for double masking all across the country.
The professor told interviewers at Mega television on Wednesday “The mutation is very aggressive and we need to protect ourselves.
“Everyone must wear a mask everywhere,” she urged.
Double masking was the norm for some in the days before there was a vaccine to combat the coronavirus. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted experiments at that time that indeed showed that multiple masks do provide additional protection against the virus.
The CDC study showed that wearing a cloth mask over a three-ply medical procedure mask, such as the N-95 surgical mask, as well as knotting the ear loops of a surgical mask and then tucking the excess material close to the face, was likely to reduce one’s exposure to the coronavirus significantly.
At that time it was common to see people wearing multiple masks; it appears that such sights may be returning to Greece, if people heed the epidemiologist’s warnings.
The “Delta” mutation is occurring in 92% of all instances of the coronavirus, according to the genotyping of 2,044 samples of the infection in Greece. All the samples were taken randomly from July 19, 2021 to August 16.
The analysis was performed by the National Genomic Surveillance Network under the coordination of Greece’s national heath authority, EODY.
Of all the 2,044 samples, 1,883 showed they were from strains “of special interest” while there were 24 samples of strains that are currently “under observation.” Of the “special interest” strains, 1,760 were from the Delta variant while 87 were cased by the Alpha, or the mutation that was first detected in Great Britain, and 36 were caused by the Beta strain.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, there were 3,538 new cases of the virus detected over the last day, according to the National Organization of Public Health (EODY). A total of 28 deaths were announced.
The number of those who are currently intubated in intensive care units across the country comes to 336 patients. Just over half, or 59.8%, are male. Their median age is 64 years. The vast majority, or 83.6%, suffer from an underlying disease and / or age 70 years and older.
The EODY officials noted on Thursday that the number of intubated individuals in Greece continues to place great pressure on ICU’s in the country.
Only 29 of Thursday’s cases were identified after checks at the country’s entrance gates. The total number of cases across the country since the beginning of the pandemic is 573,605, representing a daily increase of 0.6%, of which 51.1% are male.
A total of 13,539 deaths associated with the coronavirus have been recorded since the beginning of the pandemic; 95.3% suffered from an underlying disease and / or were age 70 years and older.
The number of admissions of new Covid-19 patients to the hospitals of Greece is 265 today, showing an increase from yesterday of 2.32%. The average number of admissions over the past week is 266.
The median age of all these people is 39 years while the median age of death is 78 years.
Professor warns of further spread in Attica
“With the return of tourists in August, there will be a further spread of the pandemic in Attica, which may peak between 16 and 20 September, and will put pressure on the health system of the basin,” said Nikos Thomedis, a Professor of Analytical Chemistry at EKPA.
Speaking to Proto Thema, he stressed that if the pace of vaccinations is intensified, we will not reach 10,000 cases per day, as predicted by many scientists.
“If we are vaccinated, we have a high chance of not seeing such numbers in September and October. If we are not vaccinated, however, it is very likely that we will see this wave. We will either be vaccinated, or we will get sick. “There is nothing else,” he stated.
Greece’s healthcare system still has 21,664 unvaccinated workers
Mandated vaccinations, which have been called for by the Greek government, will result in the termination of employees as of September 1 as the virus continues to spread throughout the country after the Summer’s tourist season.
All employees of hospitals and in primary health care facilities must receive the vaccine. As of August 19, however, there are still a number of health care workers who have not gotten their shots.
The current number of unvaccinated hospital staffers came to 19,416 on that date, while 2,248 were unvaccinated primary care workers. At the present time, a total of 21,664 NSS employees still remain unvaccinated, almost two weeks before they are set to be terminated.