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COVID-19: Record Low for Months in Greece with 297 Cases, 17 Deaths

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People at Syntagma Square. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece reached a record low of the past few months in COVID-19 figures, with 297 new cases, 17 deaths and 358 patients in intubation.

The number of new cases is the lowest recorded. Despite the fact that the number of tests is limited on Sundays, however the diagnoses are estimated at more than 20,000 in the last 24 hours.

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The low COVID-19 figures have brought the lifting of restrictions for Greek citizens.

It is indicative that with a similar number of coronavirus tests a month ago, Sunday, May 16, the number of new cases amounted to 1,263 in 24 hours.

The number of intubated patients is slowly but steadily declining, with 358 patients in ICU, while the number of new deaths is 17, a number lower than the average daily average of  last week.

According to the National Public Health Organization (EODY), two of the 297 cases in the past 24 hours were identified after checks at the country’s gates.

The total number of cases is 414,933 (daily change 0.1 percent), of which 51.2 percent are men. Based on the confirmed cases of the last seven days, 35 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 1,370 are related to an already known case.

The total number of dead from COVID-19 has reached 12,422, of which 95.2 percent had an underlying disease and / or were over 70 years old.

The number of patients treated by intubation is 358 (64.4 percent men). Their median age is 67 years; 88.0 percent have an underlying disease and / or are over 70 years old.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,562 patients have been discharged from ICU.

About one half of Sunday’s cases (140) were detected in Attica, with Thessaloniki recording only 22 in the last 24 hours. Seven of the cases were imported.

Privileges for vaccinated Greeks

The Greek government is considering a series of privileges for Greeks who are fully inoculated against COVID-19, a SKAI television report said on Saturday.

Even though vaccination is not obligatory, there are considerations for those who have been vaccinated.

The “privileges” for inoculated Greeks on the table include unrestricted admission to concerts, theatres, stadiums, leading gradually to pre-COVID-19 normality.

Specifically, those vaccinated will be able to attend mass entertainment events such as theatrical performances, concerts, movie screenings, stadiums and nightclubs.

Discussions for the formalisation of the above is in full swing. However, the date of application will depend on when vaccination will be available and accessible to all ages, ie in mid-July.

According to the same report, the lifting of restrictions for vaccinated people will mean that wearing a mask will not be obligatory.

Vaccination for 12-15 year olds

Greece is prepared to extend the vaccination program and begin vaccinating children aged 12-15 against COVID-19, Greek Secretary General for Primary Health Care, Marios Themistokleous assured the public during a press conference earlier in the month.

The European Union’s medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), approved the use of the Pfizer jab for the particular age group after extensive testing proved it was safe and effective among children aged 12-15.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. approved the use of the shot in children belonging to that age group in early May.

Themistokleos noted that while the country has all the mechanisms in place to begin vaccinating children aged 12-15, Greece’s National Vaccination Committee has yet to provide specific instructions or guidelines regarding distribution.

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