On Thursday, Greece recorded another staggering total of 35,580 cases of Covid-19, an increase of 6,752 over the 28,828 that has been recorded on Wednesday, which in itself was 7,171 more than the 21,657 cases on Tuesday.
This is the highest number of cases ever recorded in the country in a 24-hour period since the start of the pandemic.
The previous record for the highest number of coronavirus cases recorded in one day in Greece had been broken yesterday, Wednesday, when 28,828 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed.
Meanwhile, tonight marks the beginning of the implementation of the new, stricter measures that are in place to try to thwart the spread of the Omicron variant.
Minister Thanos Plevris stated on Thursday that he would encourage everyone to get tested before going out on New Year’s Eve.
Regarding the condition in the national health system, he said that the majority of the patients there now are infected by Delta variant; however, Omicron is the dominating variant because of the rapidity of its transmission.
He also said that the health system continues to be pressed by the Delta variant, adding that the government has agreed with private facilities to offer beds and staffing.
Plevris also said that the epidemiologists committee unanimously urges all citizens to be vaccinated, since the existing vaccines cover the Omicron variant.
Positivity rate for Covid-19 in Greece now 7.9%
Just 32 of Wednesday’s cases were identified during routine Covid-19 testing of tourists at the country’s borders.
In the past day, a total of 39,035 rapid coronavirus tests have been administered, bringing the positivity rate in Greece to 7.9%. Wednesday’s positivity rate was 7.23%.
Currently, there are 636 patients with the coronavirus on ventilators in Greece, 16 more than the 620 who were undergoing the invasive treatment on Wednesday.
A total of 72 people with Covid-19 passed away in Greece on Thursday, the same number as those who had died on Wednesday, which was 12 more than the 60 people who had succumbed with the virus in the country on Tuesday.
In addition, a total of 87 cases of the Omicron mutation of the virus were diagnosed on Thursday.
This brings the total number of coronavirus-related fatalities in the country to 20,708. 95.2% of the people who succumbed with the virus had underlying disease and/or were age 70 years and older.
Thursday marks the fourth consecutive day that Greece has broken a record for the most cases in 24 hours since the beginning of the pandemic.
The total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic amounts to 1,170,293 (showing a daily increase of 3.1%), of which 50.4% are men.
Based on the confirmed cases of the last 7 days, 217 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 1,410 are related to an already known case.
Among intubated patients, 540 (84.91%) are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and just 96 (15.09%) are fully vaccinated.
The number of admissions of new Covid-19 patients to Greek hospitals is 421 (showing an increase of 1.94% from yesterday).
The average number of admissions is 346 patients per week.
Greece Covid-19 expert says there may be up to 100,000 cases soon
On Thursday, further warning bells rang out from a range of experts, with one professor, Dr. Charalambos Gogos, stating that soon there could be as many as 100,000 cases a day in Greece due to the Omicron variant.
In addition, there are new quarantine recommendations for those who have tested positive and their close contacts from the EODY.
Coronavirus Quarantine for those without symptoms in Greece reduced from 10 to five days
Greece has reduced the quarantine period for those who have tested positive for the virus but experience no symptoms from ten days to five on Tuesday.
Greece’s special committee of epidemiological experts suggested that the quarantine period be reduced for those with asymptomatic cases of the virus after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national public health agency of the US, changed its own guidelines on Monday.
CDC officials announced on Monday that their new recommendation is to isolate for five days instead of ten, and to wear a mask for five more days after.
“The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” the CDC released in a statement.
UK data indicates shorter hospital stays for those suffering with Omicron
Data from the United Kingdom on the Omicron variant show that the length of hospital stay for patients is shorter than that required for the Delta variant.
The rector of the University of Athens, Athanasios Dimopoulos, speaking on the ANT1 show “Good morning Greece,” stated that from what we know now, once one is infected with the Omicron variant, it affords great protection against contracting the more severe Delta form of the virus.
Still, an element that raises serious concerns is just how many health professionals will be affected and will therefore not be able to offer their services to others.
Dimopoulos also said that rapid tests show that they are not as sensitive in detecting the Omicron variant as they are with other Covid-19 mutations; that is why, if we have any symptoms, we should behave as if we have been exposed to the virus.
Dispersion of Omicron extremely rapid
Charalambos Gogos, a professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Patras, also spoke on the same show, noting that we are still in the phase of collecting data for the Omicron variant.
The first data show that its spread is very fast and while the third dose of the vaccine does indeed help us avoid serious disease to a great extent, it is a given that the fully vaccinated will also get sick from it.
Asked about the number of cases, Gogos admitted that the numbers are dizzying and he cannot rule out the possibility that the number of cases will reach even 100,000 per day. However, the positive about this situation is that they are not burdening the national healthcare system proportionally.
He predicted that both the escalation and the de-escalation of this latest wave of the pandemic will be short and will last 1-2 months.
In conclusion, Gogos said that the pandemic is dynamic and as the data changes, some things will have to be re-evaluated, including the operation of schools nationwide.