NEWS

262 new coronavirus cases; 46 deaths

262-new-coronavirus-cases-46-deaths

Greek health authorities announced 262 new infections from the coronavirus over the 24 hours ending at 3 p.m. Saturday. There were also 46 deaths.

Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of confirmed infections is 135,114, with 4,553 fatalities.

The numbers of new infections and deaths are quite low compared with recent trends. Officials said Saturday, if this continues, schools might open again on January 8, but not retail shops or restaurants. The decision whether to end or extend the country-wide lockdown will be taken two or three days before January 7, the day it is supposed to end, a minister said.

The government has also published a timetable of the first vaccinations, which will start at 1 p.m. Sunday, with a nurse and an elderly resident of a retirement home being the first ones to be inoculated. Several officials, including the country's President and Prime Minister, will also be inoculated Sunday, but the first round will focus on health professionals and elderly living in retirement and nursing homes. The over-70s and those with serious underlying diseases will start getting vaccinated in February and the rest of the population in June, the government has announced.

The first batch of vaccines arrived at a guarded storage facility outside Athens early Saturday morning, having traveled overland from central Europe.

[AP]