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The plan for Christmas under the shadow of Omicron

Featured The plan for Christmas under the shadow of Omicron

The concern for the Omicron variant is at its peak, which may not have appeared in Γρεεψε so far, but it is spreading in Europe.

The World Health Organization's warning that the international community is facing a "very high" risk of an outbreak of the Omicron strain and the consequences for some countries could be "severe" is not at all reassuring.

This is why most countries promote full vaccination coverage of their population, expecting clear data on epidemiological behavior and the rate of transmission of the new variant.

The government and experts note the same in Greece: Self-protection measures and vaccinations are our permanent "weapons" against the virus, they emphasize.

In the run-up to Christmas, they are working closely together to find the formula for reducing the spread of the pandemic in order to avoid a lockdown.

For the government, the die has been finally cast: Lockdown does not exist on the horizon, instead we will celebrate the holidays with the economy and society open.

The stabilization of cases and the prospect of de-escalation, from mid-December onwards, also remove the scenarios of complete exclusion of unvaccinated citizens from all social activities.

Massive self tests are on the way

Government and infectious disease specialists are waiting to examine the footprint of the measures already in force before proceeding with new measures.

The Committee of Experts is meeting today in order to evaluate the epidemiological picture of the country, putting the Omicron variant in the equation.

Government spokesman Giannis Economou may have categorically rejected the lockdown, however, he was very careful in his wording for possible additional measures for the unvaccinated.

According to Star channel, the government is working on distributing free self-tests to all citizens during the holidays. Whether the self tests will be two or three will be decided by the Infectious Diseases Committee.

According to a Star channel report, every vaccinated citizen or not will be able to get a self test number from the pharmacy with the demonstration of his AMKA (health service) number. Apart from Greece, this plan is to be implemented in Portugal. For this reason and in order to avoid shortages, similar orders have already been placed.

At the same time, there will be broader recommendations for the observance of sanitary measures and the delimitation of contacts and the holiday season.

The scenarios

In any case, any moves of Athens towards the confrontation of the new variant are examined in the light of a common European pace, since processes are already evolving for the convening of an extraordinary Summit to deal with "Omicron".

In the drawer, moreover, there are measures - which if necessary will be tabled, such as: the extension of the mandatory rapid tests from 2 to 3 and lasting only 24 hours, the mandatory use of masks outdoors, but also the exclusion of the unvaccinated, as a last resort , from outdoor dining and entertainment areas.

As Minister Adonis Georgiadis mentioned, there may be new measures for the vaccinated which will be implemented or not depending on the developments of the pandemic. The only thing that he was categorical about was that no lockdown and closing of the market will be imposed during the festive period in order to stimulate the market and the turnover of the stores.

Permanent weapons are self-defense measures and vaccinations

However, what the experts in Greece emphasize is that self-protection measures and vaccinations are our permanent "weapons" against the virus.

"The A to Z in managing an important event is composure. I am referring to the recent, at the beginning of November, identification of the new strain of the coronavirus from South Africa," said Professor Maria Theodoridou during the information about the coronavirus.

"The WHO response to the alarm of all states was instantaneous as the minimum time that can be lost in these cases of epidemics is valuable. In this new situation, there are many concerns and the scientific community needs time to give answers," she added.

She cited fears that vaccines might be ineffective because of this variation, and noted that it was a rather small chance.

The virus in its constant competition with humans, however, can escape the neutralizing antibodies produced by a vaccinated person to an extent, however, that is not yet known.

However, according to a study on the behavior of the immune system in previous mutations and published in Cell Reports Medicine, it appears that cellular immunity to memory cells plays a key role in protecting against virus variants.

Specific CD4 and CDA cells activate other important cells of the immune system or cause, in particular, CD8, lysis of virus-infected cells.

Therefore, vaccination, despite the possible reduction in effectiveness due to the variants, is still a shield of protection ".