ATHENS – Admittedly tilting toward an economic recovery, easing health restrictions and not requiring COVID-19 vaccinations has seen cases rise past 3000 a day in Greece, putting the country in the wrong line with the rest of Europe – and deaths rising.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has backed off his pledge that he would make shots mandatory if the Coronavirus crisis got worse, going full-bore toward trying to lift an economy battered by lockdowns.
There were an astounding 3,585 cases on Oct. 22 and another 36 deaths, with many ignoring what’s left of health measures, shunning masks and not staying safe social distances, and at least one university not checking students for required vaccinations or to see if they are free of the virus.
Health officials on the government’s advisory panel said a fourth wave is looming, but their warnings have been set aside with Mitsotakis wanting revenues and trying to lure foreign investors.
Since the beginning of October, 727 people have died, bemoaned by the government which nevertheless said eyes are on the economy now despite worry the crisis will get worse in autumn and winter weather.
The number of people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) has remained steady, but high, but hospital admissions for COVID are jumping as well.
Nearly 90 percent of those in ICUs are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated but the remainder who are fully vaccinated but in critical care shows how deadly COVID is, the government urging booster shots.
Some 75-80 percent of COVID patients in hospitals have also been unvaccinated or received only one shot of two required versions or one of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson version from the United States.
Despite the grim news, the government is sticking with a failed persuasion campaign and watching as rabid anti-vaxxers are spreading the virus, the Eleftheria (Freedom) vaccination campaign stalled almost to a standstill.