Greece has confirmed 122,230 new coronavirus cases the week of July 25-31. A story from Neos Kosmos earlier this week tells of a report by the National Public Health Organization (EODY) on reinfections pumping up some of the biggest numbers since the pandemic began.
According to the report, some 20 percent of the weekly new infections are reinfections. Some 20,000 cases daily have been reported, but the Professor of Pulmonology and Vice President of the Hellenic Respiratory Society Nikos Tzanakis told Open TV the number is closer to 40,000.
Professor Tzanakis said that the BA.5 subvariant of the Omicron strand of COVID-19 is transmitted rapidly and has “strong symptoms,” though this is not causing alarm, even though even those fully vaccinated can be infected with serious symptoms, including being put on ventilators.
The New Democracy government does not want this latest wave undermine Greece’s tourism efforts. The tourism ministry says some 33 million tourists have already visited, and the season is only half over. Some are questioning whether or not the 355 deaths from Covid-19 registered in the July 25-31 week, are worth the price of opening the tourism gates wide.
EODY stopped publishing daily COVID reports back in July when over half of Greece’s major cities were reporting incidence rates above 100/100,000 people. Mykonos had been running at over 400/100k for some weeks, while other island destinations and touristic cites were in the 120-200 incident per 100k range.
Here in Heraklion, our editor encountered half a dozen small business owners or directors working with COVID-19, since their businesses were shorthanded. People simply cannot afford to go home when their livelihood depends on their working 7-days a week. Imagine the implications of a restaurant worker serving clients while infected with Omicron. It happens a lot more than anybody’s reporting. Before it’s over, Greece 2022 may be dubbed Omicron Summer.