ATHENS — “We have pointed out in all possible ways that we are not yet done with COVID-19. As long as there are people who have not been vaccinated, the virus finds fertile ground in which to spread,” government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou said at the opening of his press briefing on Monday.
“It is scientifically proven that the risk of transmission depends upon the extent of vaccination coverage in an area. Put simply, the more the virus finds fertile ground, the greater the number of infections, hospitalisations and, unfortunately, of losses. The risk of infection becomes even higher in the winter. For all the above reasons, the need to extend vaccination coverage further on a national level is even more urgent,” he underlined.
“We are mourning human lives due to non-vaccination and this can no longer continue,” Oikonomou added.
He also stressed, however, that Greece’s society, economy and education sector must not and will not return to a state of lockdown. “The state has done everything possible in order for life to return to normal. The refusal to vaccinate is an act that is potentially suicidal for the people that refuse to protect themselves and at the same time socially damaging and irresponsible,” Oikonomou pointed out.
He said that the “Eleftheria” vaccination programme and a campaign to persuade people to get vaccinated, using all available means, will continue.
He also noted that scientists are simultaneously warning of the necessity to vaccinate against influenza, as its coexistence with the novel coronavirus will make the challenges for healthcare during the winter season even greater.
Oikonomou announced that the health ministry has already reached agreements with five private clinics in Thessaloniki, Volos and Larissa for ICU beds to treat both COVID and non-COVID patients.