ATHENS – Just as vaccinations were working to slow the COVID-19 pandemic in Greece, anxiety is arising that more contagious Delta variant could see some local lockdowns being imposed as health restrictions were otherwise being eased.
“The international community is on alert and there are worries because the Delta variant is 50-60 percent more contagious than the previous one, the Alpha, or British variant, that had prevailed in this country. The models show that by mid-August it will be the dominant strain in Europe and here,” the President of the National Organization for Public Health (EODY), Panagiotis Arkoumaneas told SKAI TV
Parts of the country with low take-up of the coronavirus vaccines are likely “to have a problem,” he also warned.
“It is wrong to have the option and not get vaccinated,” he said, with many in the country – including health professionals – refusing to be inoculated and doubters disbelieving the vaccines are safe or effective even though they are.
University of Crete lung specialist Nikolaos Tzanakis said that the Delta variant has already spread in many parts of the country and will become dominant by August, despite the blazing heat that can be effective against some viruses.
He added that entire areas may have to be put on lockdown in the event of sizeable outbreaks featuring this strain. He told the TV station that of the 15 cases of the Delta variant on Crete that all of those affected were not vaccinated.
Asked by Skai TV to comment on the 15 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Crete, Tzanakis said that they all concerned patients who have not been vaccinated.