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Transmission rate of Delta variant ‘terrifying,’ says EODY head

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The transmission rate of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in Greece is “terrifying,” the president of the country’s National Organization for Public Health (EODY) said on Thursday.

“We will have an increase in cases this week and next, but we must look at the age [of those infected] and whether they end up in the ICU to be intubated, or we have deaths,” Panagiotis Arkoumaneas told Skai channel, noting that 99% of those who end up in hospital or in intensive care have not been vaccinated.

This is “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he added. 

The Delta variant is already dominant in the new infections, with new data suggesting that the percentage of those cases attributed to the specific mutation rises by about 10 percentage points per week, he said. 

“It will soon reach 70%, we now see it on the islands, especially the islands that are seeing a rise in infections,” he explained.

Speaking to the same TV channel, pathologist and infectious disease expert Marios Lazanas said the timing of the fourth wave of the pandemic surprised experts. 

“To be honest, we expected it, but we did not expect it so quickly. That is, we thought that this tsunami would come at the end of August, but it came much faster,” he said.

Delta is much more contagious and at the same time vaccinations in Greece have not progressed to the extent that they should have. “Vaccinations have been greatly reduced. People have gone on holiday and there is a problem.”