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Greece’s COVID-19 Health Restrictions Eased, But Deaths Remain High

ATHENS – Greece is further moving to relax COVID-19 health measures – while offering booster shots for the elderly -noting that cases are declining but deaths are stubbornly high, particularly for those over 70 and unvaccinated.

Health officials said there’s been a noticeable fall in the number of cases in the Omicron BA.2 variant but there are indications that the deaths won’t decline at the same rate as so many elderly refused to be vaccinated and are succumbing.

Health Minister Thanos Plevris said earlier that the signs are encouraging enough in terms of cases and reduced hospitalizations to allow for further easing of restrictions as the New Democracy government focuses on an economic recovery.

That has seen rabid anti-vaxxers essentially rewarded for refusing to take the shot as they are supposed to be barred still from entering many indoor public gathering areas but scenes show big crowds in many eateries and no reports whether people are being checked for vaccination certificates in some places.

The government is also keen to have a near-normal Easter and lure tourists with reports that Americans are already coming into the country in big numbers and the government eliminated a requirement that visitors have to fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) as of now.

“At the moment, based on the epidemiological data we have, as we approach the summer, we will proceed to further de-escalate measures,” he said although it wasn’t said if they will be ended totally even during the pandemic.

“We are not so frightened by the number of cases, because now the form of the pandemic is different, however we are closely monitoring whether these cases are pressuring the national health system,” Plevris added.

He said that, “any de-escalation in the summer will be re-examined as a whole, because scientists from both the European Medicines Agency and the European Center for Disease Control are very wary of autumn.”

 

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