Greece confirmed 2,215 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours of which 15 were identified at entry points to the country, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Friday.

So far, Greece has a confirmed total of 201,677 SARS-CoV-2 infections. Based on confirmed data of the last 7 days, 71 of them are linked to arrivals from abroad and 2,885 to already registered cases.

Another 32 registered deaths related to Covid-19 occurred in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of casualties since the first outbreak to 6,664. Of these, 95.8 pct had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or more.

The number of hospital patients on ventilators totals 451. The patients’ median age is 68 years. An 84.7 pct has an underlying condition and/or is aged 70 or more.

Another 1,398 patients have been discharged from ICUs since the pandemic began.

The number of new patients in hospitals due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours is 402 (daily change: +10.14 pct), while the rolling average of hospital admissions in the last seven days is 335 patients.

The median age of new infections is 44 years, while that of the deceased ones 79 years.

Coronavirus viral load rising across the country, expert says at briefing

The viral load of the novel coronavirus is registering a rising trend in several areas of Greece, professor of pediatric infectious diseases Vana Papaevangelou said at Friday’s regular live briefing on the pandemic.

In fact, the viral load doubled over the last 15 days, she said, with the number of active cases of infection reaching 16,500. The age group of 20-65 leads in new coronavirus cases, while fewer infections are being observed in those aged 75 or over, possibly becausel of vaccinations, she added.

The ratio of positive cases identified in tests has reached 4 percent, hospitalizations have increased, yet the mortality rate remains consistently low, the member of the Health ministry’s coronavirus experts committee noted.

Great dispersal of the virus is observed across all areas in Attica region, while a 37 pct rise in news cases was registered in Thessaloniki. Occupancy of beds in Attica intensive care units is at 87 pct, while hospital admissions now average 330 daily.

Papaevangelou stressed that a joint effort by all in keeping up with safety restrictions is required until mass immunization is achieved. Wearing face masks still is the most effective personal measure, she reiterated.

“I always have been, and still am positive that we will make it through this”, she underlined.

Larissa taken off high alert

The viral load of the novel coronavirus has risen in several regions and municipalities in Greece, said Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias at Friday’s televised briefing on the pandemic.

He named in particular the regions of Kozani (especially Eordea and Kozani), Kastoria, Ioannina, Kavala, Imathia (esp. Alexandria), Serres, Kilkis, Zakynthos, Chania and Rethimno.

The minister urged citizens in these regions to remain diligent in observing all safety restrictions, as the weekly and biweekly averages of infections per 100,000 inhabitants are approaching alarming proportions.

The region of Fthiotida and the municipality of Anogia (Rethymno, Crete) in particular will enter red-alert status as of Saturday (March 6).

In addition, Larissa’s region will no longer be under high-alert status as of 06:00 on Saturday, due to the persistent earthquake activity there, he noted.

The minister also clarified that the restriction of moving with a 2km radius from home does not include car checks at the Vehicle Roadworthiness Test Center (KTEO), provided an appointment is made. The text messaging code is #2, he said.

Finally, Hardalias noted said that both civil and religious weddings are allowed but with a maximum of 9 attendees, including officiating persons and helping staff.

All citizens must remain on high-alert and keep up with health restrictions, until the largest portion of the country’s population has been vaccinated, he underlined.