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Politics

Theoharis: Tourism Not to Blame for Rise in Coronavirus Cases

ATHENS — Neither tourism nor tourist arrivals are to blame for the rise in novel coronavirus cases in Greece, Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis said on Wednesday at a hybrid digital and physical event organised by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and the tourism ministry on "The next day for Greek hotels, using the financing means".

Theoharis said that, based on statistics from checks carried out at the country's borders, the opening for tourism was careful and well planned and did not cause damage.

He noted that just 74 positive cases were detected in 100,000 random samples taken at the borders, with the rate of positivity at just 0.07 pct. The rate of positivity at the land borders was 0.01 pct while that in airports was 0.09 pct, he reported.

Greece yesterday confirmed 3,109 new coronavirus infections, with 11 of these identified at entry points to the country, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said.

Since the pandemic began, Greece has confirmed 444,783 infections (daily change: +0.9%). In the confirmed cases of the last 7 days, 164 infections are related to travel from abroad and 1,953 to other confirmed cases.

There are also 4 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 12,806. Of these, 95.2 pct had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or over.

A total of 133 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 66 years and 84.2% have an underlying condition and/or are aged 70 or over. Another 2,739 have been discharged from ICUs since the pandemic began.

In addition, 112 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours (daily change: +31.76%). The average admission of patients with Covid-19 to hospitals over the last 7 days was 74.

The median age of new infections is 42 years.

Health care workers in Greece will be suspended if they refuse to get vaccinated under a new mandatory policy announced Monday by the country’s prime minister.

Staff at nursing homes will be suspended starting Aug. 16 if they fail to book a vaccination appointment, with a similar policy to follow in September for workers at state-run and private hospitals.

Starting Friday, and until the end of August, all indoor commercial areas, including bars, cinemas, and theaters, will only be available for the vaccinated.

The new restrictions will apply nationwide, including the Greek islands and other key tourism destinations.

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