“It is not measures that are canceled, but obligations,” Health Minister Thanos Pleuris stressed during an extraordinary press briefing on Wednesday. “From May 1, we are entering a new framework and are in full readiness for whatever is required,” he added.
He said that Greeceenters into a new phase pandemic, like all other European countries, we are entering phase of coexistence with the virus“. The minister dismissed criticism over the number of Covid-related deaths.
“There are protection measures. We do not believe in a zero covid policy, the numbers allow us to move within the framework of coexistence with the virus. We will monitor the progress of the pandemic and adapt accordingly“, he said, adding that the epidemiological picture justifies the new management of the pandemic.
The Minister added that there will be measures, but they will not be mandatory: “We don’t believe in a zero Covid policy like China does. On the contrary, we believe that we can follow a different model, monitor the pandemic and adapt to it.“.
The Minister of Health noted that the epidemiological picture justifies this framework, as there is a decrease in the number of deaths and intubations, as well as hospitalizations for Covid and the number of people requiring intensive care, while the economy is functioning. “We have done everything to reduce losses,” Plevris said.
New rules for registering deaths from Covid-19
Minister Plevris dismissed criticism of Greece’s high Covid-19 death rate, saying it was below the national average. EU.
Both the Minister of Health and the President of the National Health Organization EODY, Teoklis Zautis, stressed that the registration of deaths from Covid is based on the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), i.e. the patient dies and the demise is declared a Covid-related death, regardless of other comorbidities. Patients end up get sick with Covid, not because of Covid.
Zoutis clarified that, based on scientific indicators, Greece claims an increased number of deaths due to Covid-19, since the registration system is not uniform. He cited the Lancet study, according to which mortality in European countries is underestimated.
He explained that the death registration system cannot be compared on the basis of numbers, since their recording is not uniform in all countries, it depends on the stage of the pandemic that each country is in, and finally, the prognostic factors are different.
By latest datasince the start of the pandemic in Greece, as a result of Covid-related complications, 28,701 people died.
Acute hepatitis in children
Repeating that so far there are no cases of acute hepatitis in the country, Plevris stressed: “We are in full combat readiness. We are fully prepared to fix it and sort it out, if necessary.”
Zoutis and member of the committee of epidemiologists, professor of pediatric epidemiology Vana Papaevangelou, emphasized that there could be no question of a connection of acute hepatitis with vaccination against COVID-19, since most of the sick children are under 5 years of age and, therefore, are not vaccinated or do not have long-term vaccination.
Papaevangelou said the hepatitis appears to be caused by an adenovirus. She added that the pandemic isolation of the child population in recent years could lead to outbreaks of other viruses. “Children were in a sterile environment, and now this can affect,” Papaevangelou said. “Parents should check their children when symptoms of infection appear.
How will we spend Easter?
Nightclubs and restaurants
As for entertainment and food centers, they work exclusively for fully vaccinated or newly ill. That is, those who have taken three doses, those who have been vaccinated with two doses and nine months have not passed, as well as those who have been ill in the last six months, have access. The measures also provide for the mandatory presentation of a certificate of vaccination or a certificate of illness to customers at the entrance, while the use of a mask by staff and customers is mandatory while waiting.
In businesses that operate outdoors and are licensed as a medical supply store, the customer must present a vaccination certificate or a certificate of illness, or a negative Covid-19 diagnosis certificate.
People enter churches after showing a certificate of vaccination or illness, or a negative diagnostic test for Covid-19. At the same time, clergymen and singers are allowed not to use masks during a religious ceremony.
For all parishioners in the church:
- Mandatory use of a protective mask. Persons to whom the mask is not indicated for medical reasons, confirmed by relevant documents, are excluded.
- Maintain a distance of 1.5 meters between people indoors and outdoors.
- Antiseptics at the entrance.
- Ventilation of premises by natural or artificial means.
Persons arriving for the purpose of participating in a religious ceremony after a mandatory demonstration at the entrance:
a) vaccination certificate,
b) medical certificates,
c) a negative result of a diagnostic test for coronavirus (PCR or rapid test).
Alternatively, minors between the ages of 4 and 17 may submit a negative self-test.
According to the Government Gazette, the use of a mask remains mandatory in all forms of public transport, as it has been since the first period of the pandemic.
Read more in the official newspaper link (in Greek)