Greece: Number of New Virus Infections Stabilizing in Large Prefectures

February 17, 2021

ATHENS — Despite a rising trend in coronavirus infections in several prefectures, the number of new infections in large prefectures is showing a tendency to stabilize, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Wednesday.

During a live briefing, the minister stressed that restrictive measures are showing results.

The appointments for vaccinations that were cancelled due to the snowstorm will be rescheduled and individuals will be notified, he said. Appointments for vaccinations on Tuesday were cancelled due to tough travelling conditions, while on Wednesday they began around noon. Kikilias said officials were concerned the vaccines would spoil, "especially those made by Pfizer, which have unique storage demands." But the authorities decided to vaccinate those who did not have an appointment and those who showed up despite the weather.

Specifically, in the last 24 hours those who were vaccinated included 450 inmates and staff at Korydallos prison and over 250 migrants in the Amygdaleza center, he noted. "We were vaccinating up to 3:00 a.m.," he said. Some of the vaccines were also distributed to armed forces personnel in hospitals, and these individuals completed their vaccinations of the first of two doses on Wednesday morning. "All this was done so we don't lose these super-valuable doses of shots," the minister stressed.

On national figures, Kikilias said that of 1,322 dedicated Covid-19 beds in ICUs, 449 are free for use right now. In Attica Region, there are 36 available in these specialized ICUs. "Usually in February in past years, and with flucases, we had 30 to 50 people waiting for ICU beds, and this show how much progress has been made on the issue," he asserted.

Vaccinations cancelled due to adverse weather will be rescheduled in coming days

All the scheduled coronavirus vaccinations that were cancelled due to the recent extreme snowfall will be rescheduled in coming days, said Health Ministry Secretary General for Primary Health Care Marios Themistokleous, at Wednesday's regular live briefing on the pandemic.

Those aged 60-64, and citizens who were scheduled for inoculation in the new vaccinations mega-center at Helexpo in Maroussi, will soon receive a text message (SMS) informing them of the precise date and time of the new booking, three days before the new date. These citizens will all be vaccinated next week, at the same vaccination centers as per the original booking.

Additionally, citizens aged 75 or over who were due to be vaccinated on Tuesday, will be inoculated on Sunday February 21. The majority of this age group will be receiving the second of two shots.

On Wednesday 25,137 citizens with appointments received their vaccine, with attendance exceeding 89 pct. Vaccinations in Greece now surpass 600,000, which translates to 5.71 pct of the country's population.



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