ATHENS – The lingering COVID-19 pandemic in Greece reached a grim toll when 77 fatalities on Dec. 21 raised the death toll to 20 ,055 since the crisis began early in 2020, including 8 in one nursing home in a month.
The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) also reported 6,424 more Coronavirus cases and said that there were 661 patients in critical care on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) across the country.
The cases were identified from 555,381 tests, with a positivity rate of 1.15 percent, said Kathimerini, adding that 545, or 82.45 percent of the ICU patients were either unvaccinated or only party vaccinated.
But 116, or 17.55 percent were fully vaccinated, showing the danger even to those thought protected as anti-vaxxers refusing shots and not being compelled are continuing to spread the virus.
The vaccines were supposed to provide as much as 95 percent protection against becoming critically ill but breakthrough infections around the world have shown how difficult it is to hold back the contagion.
Attica, Greece’s most populous region which includes the capital Athens, had the greatest number of new cases with 2,264, with the northern port city of Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest, having 1,033, the data bringing the total number of cases to 1,044,301, almost 10 percent of the population of 10.7 million, only 62 percent of which have been fully vaccinated.
Seven of the eight patients who died at a nursing home in Greece’s third-largest city of Patras on the west coast were not vaccinated although the elderly and those with multiple conditions are the most susceptible.
The first infections at the facility that wasn’t identified were detected on Nov. 19 while an additional but unspecified number of residents are currently in hospital in serious condition, the paper said.
Achaia’s Deputy Regional Governor Charalambos Bonanos said two more seniors in the same facility died from comorbidities in recent days, who had previously tested positive for the virus.
He said that checks performed “on those who have been declared in the Ergani labor database” showed that workers who are required to be vaccinated had been inoculated.
He said authorities are investigating the source of the infection and whether the facility abided by the health protocols required for its operation, the paper said, as nursing homes are considered sources of spreading.