Quarantine fatigue is one of the most significant challenges in Greece a year after the first Covid-19 case was detected in the country, Greek experts and pollsters said on Friday.
Greece’s first confirmed infection was diagnosed on February 26, 2020. A year later, the country has been in a nationwide lockdown, which was imposed since Nov. 7 and extended by one more week Friday, as the epidemiological load remains heavy in many regions, officials told a regular press briefing.
“We still have many challenges ahead to face. Perhaps the biggest is fatigue over social-distancing measures,” said Gkikas Magiorkinis, a professor of epidemiology who is in the committee of experts advising the Greek Health Ministry on the management of the Covid-19 crisis.
Also, according to a survey published on a news website, 45.2 per cent people of Greeks said they feel fatigue, while 37.9 per cent believe that the long-expected “return to normality,” with the full reopening of schools, retail stores, gyms and cultural venues, will come during summer, and 16.6 percent, in the final quarter of 2021, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The numbers of daily new cases, deaths and patients on ventilators, combined with the spread of mutant Covid-19 strains which are more contagious, do not allow complacency, Vana Papaevangelou, an associate professor of pediatrics from the same committee, told the press briefing.
Greece confirmed 1,790 new infections and 29 deaths in the last 24 hours on Friday. To date, the country has recorded 188,201 infections and 6,439 deaths.
According to the latest data provided by the National Public Health Organization (EODY), the majority of mutant strains identified in Greece so far, or 1,019, concern the one that was first detected in Britain.
“Today we also see hope ahead, as we hold vaccines in our hands,” Papaevangelou said.
So far, more than 800,000 inoculations have been carried out in Greece, according to the latest official figures. And 60.8 per cent of respondents in the survey said they will get vaccinated.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 255 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 73 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the US, according to the latest information released by the World Health Organization.