It is far too early to draw any meaningful conclusions on the omicron variant and we must wait another 10 to 15 days before that can occur, Greek expert Elias Mosialos stated on Thursday.
Mosialos is the Brian-Abel Smith Professor of Health Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE).
In March of 2020, the Greek expert was appointed as a representative of the Greek government to international organizations tasked with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Professor Mosialos was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Department of Public Health Policy of the School of Public Health of the University of West Attica (PADA), for his work on the pandemic.
Demographics crucial on containing the pandemic
Mosialos said that it is difficult to say that one country has fared better or worse than others in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
“As other countries (have), Greece has done its best to contain the virus in the country,” Mosialos stated.
He said that in order to continue to do so, it must take into consideration a number of important factors, such as demographics, which he considers crucial.
“We need to take into account a number of variables. If we compare, for example, Greece to Turkey, we have 22 percent of our population over 65 years old, compared to 9 percent in Turkey and 11 percent in Israel,” Mosialos said.
Other factors contributing to the spread of COVID-19
Professor Mosialos noted additional variables that are important to take into consideration when we want to compare how one country performed during the pandemic in relation to others.
“Other factors we have to consider are the percentage of people with chronic conditions, health system resilience, or funding the health care system to respond to the pressures of the pandemic,” he stated.
He then added: “We also have to consider population density in different countries (important in the omicron variant spread), conditions in the work place, the number of people in teleworking, household composition.
“In Greece we have a significant number of three-generation households, 16 percent, compared to 3 percent in Sweden.”
Early to draw conclusions on omicron variant
The Greek professor said that it is too early to draw conclusions on the omicron variant, adding that it will take 10 to 15 more days before anyone can do that. The data pharmaceutical companies have so far have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
“We always compare experimental data with epidemiological data and clinical data. We have to evaluate the number of admissions to hospitals and the outcomes of hospitalizations, and compare trends of the omicron variant with the delta,” Professor Mosialos said.
Mosialos honored by University of West Attica
Mosialos was honored by University of West Attica (PADA) for his contributions to the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday.
The ceremony was attended by the Governor of the Bank of Greece and former Minister of Finance, Yiannis Stournaras, along with the General Secretary of Public Health, Panagiotis Prezerakos and General Secretary of Hellenes Abroad and Public Diplomacy, Ioannis Chrysoulakis.
In his address, PADA Rector and Professor Panagiotis Kaldis, lauded not only the work but also to the personality of Mosialos, as well as his academic ethos, integrity and scientific ethics which characterize him.
Dean of the School of Public Health, Professor Elpida Pavi, focused on the professional course taken by Mosialos, who is a graduate of the former National School of Public Health, noting the international recognition of his work.
The many accomplishments of Professor Mosialos were praised by the President of the Department of Public Health Policies, Associate Professor Georgios Koulierakis, who also read his Honorary Doctorate of the Department.
The Greek professor spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic, the new omicron variant, and the Greek public health system in his remarks, saying that he will do his best in the future to contribute to its improvement.