WHO Europe: Working to ensure majority of population is inoculated against Covid-19 the soonest possible

Wednesday’s live briefing of the coronavirus pandemic’s progress in Greece was marked by the special appearance of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, who spoke of the importance of following health measures and of becoming inoculated with the new vaccines being developed for SARS-CoV-2.

In his presentation, which was beset initially by technical problems, Kluge said that vaccines against the novel coronavirus have become a reality, and WHO is already discussing policies that will ensure the greatest segment of the population is inoculated as soon as possible

At the briefing, led by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, Kluge praised the efforts of the National Vaccination Committee and said that Greeks seem to entrust the value of vaccinations more than other Europeans, as is evident in the high numbers of Greeks getting inoculated for other diseases like measles.

It is clear that the use of face masks and social distancing can keep coronavirus dispersal rates low, and people need to take these simple measures very seriously, he noted. Avoiding close contact with others, enclosed areas and airconditioned spaces are three key pieces of advice to help reduce the disease’s transmission, he underlined.

“Adequate airing of indoor spaces is of crucial importance, and we must all observe safety measures to keep the second wave of the pandemic under control and avoid a potential third break-out,” Kluge concluded.

Health Min. Kikilias

Greece is preparing some 1,018 vaccination centers that will inoculate 2 million citizens every month against the coronavirus, Kikilias pointed out during the live briefing.

“Vaccinations will begin on the day after the arrival of the vaccines in Greece,” he stressed.
The minister then announced that doctors and nurses who have volunteered to help at hospitals in northern Greece will see their salaries doubled for the duration of their tenure.

A total of 167 doctors, 265 nurses and another 210 health workers have so far arrived at hospitals in northern Greece to offer their services, where efforts to hospitalize and treat everyone who needs it are ‘heroic’, the minister noted.
“We stand at a critical juncture in the pandemic’s course in our country,” he observed.

Citing European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, who said that a European citizen dies of Covid-19 every ten seconds, the minister pointed up that an early lifting of restrictive measures will result in higher numbers of fatalities.