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Greece Seeking Ways to Re-open Retail Amid Covid-19 Fatigue

Photo source: Athens Traders Association

A decision by Greek authorities to re-open the retail sector has been pushed back several times due to spikes in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past weeks with the national committee of health experts set to convene on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of easing containment measures.

Greek Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis on Tuesday said the pressure on the health care system, the ongoing street rallies, the British strain of the virus are all hurdles to re-opening trade safely.

Georgiadis said the ministry was however seeking ways to get the market going, particularly in view of the fact that people were now suffering from Covid-19 fatigue due to the ongoing lockdown regulations. 

“We are trying to find the golden mean; it’s not an easy exercise. I remain optimistic that we will find a way to open up,” he said.

Health authorities however are warning that it is too early to ease lockdown. On Wednesday, epidemiologists are expected to at least set a time frame for the resumption of activities with some, such as hair salons opening on March 22, retail shops by click away on March 29, and schools later in April. Authorities are also considering extending the school year by two weeks. Other issues on the agenda include allowing travel by car between regions and municipalities currently forbidden. 

Referring to the rise in cases, the president of the Hellenic Society for Infectious Diseases, Panos Gargalianos, attributed the increase to new virus variants which have made it more transmissible. He added however that measures have absolutely no effect if they are not followed.

The Greek government is aiming to have vaccinated half of the adult population by June and 70-80 percent by August. 

Photo source: European Commission

Meanwhile, earlier today, Greece’s National Vaccination Committee recommended the continuation of the vaccination drive with AstraZeneca vaccines, which were under investigation after concerns that they may cause serious side-effects including thromboembolic episodes (blood clots).

World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine safety experts were due to meet today, to discuss the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Cyprus, Luxembourg, Latvia, Sweden, Germany, France, Ireland, and Italy said on Monday that were suspending the vaccine’s use pending assessment by the EU medicines regulator (EMA).

In the last 24-hour period, Greece recorded 1,533 new coronavirus cases and 59 deaths. 

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.
  1. GTP editing team Reply

    GTP Headlines welcomes all comments and thanks readers for their feedback. Regarding comments on the AstraZeneca vaccine, GTP Headlines reported – as did all international media – that the said vaccines were under investigation until claims about potential blood clotting and other side-effects were cleared. In that time, several countries have halted vaccination with the specific vaccine.

  2. John McLaren Reply

    The whole point is that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine HAS NOT been found to cause blood clots!

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