NEWS

EODY chief warns infectious UK Covid-19 variant could become dominant virus in Greece

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A total of 403 cases of the new UK variant of Covid-19 have been registered in Greece so far, Panagiotis Arkoumaneas, president of the National Organization for Public Health (EODY), has said, while not ruling out the prospect of another full national lockdown to contain infections.

Speaking on Skai TV on Monday, Arkoumaneas said that the fast-spreading UK variant of the coronavirus could become the predominant strain in Greece in the coming months.

He said the British strain is up to 40 percent more transmissible, however adding there is no evidence of an increase in mortality.

Arkoumaneas added that health authorities have so far detected six cases of the South African strain in Greece.

The EODY chief expressed optimism that vaccines will offer protection against the British mutation of Covid-19, however adding that the South African strain appears more resistant to existing vaccines.

Asked about the possibility of a hard lockdown to curb the spread of the virus in Greece, Arkoumaneas said that the measure is still on the table.

“We will prefer a lockdown to a huge number of hospital admissions,” he told Skai TV, adding that authorities have not until now implemented a full lockdown “for psychological and economic reasons.”

Greek health authorities announced 733 new cases of the coronavirus for the 24-hour period ending 3 p.m. on Sunday. There were also 21 deaths.