The director of the Seventh Public Heath Region in Crete, Lena Borboudaki, said that the patient who was the first diagnosed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Greece is in good clinical condition.

The patient, who remained unnamed, reportedly travelled to Crete to visit family for the holidays from South Africa, where he has been working for several years.

Borboudaki referred to the management of the case by Greek public health authorities, noting that, “We did the tracking and management of the identification procedure swiftly, in 48 hours. No valuable time was lost, not even a minute,” she said.

She noted that the individual’s close contacts were informed, and that he and his family are cooperating fully.

“The citizen who was diagnosed with the new mutation is quarantined at home and is in good clinical condition. He has light symptoms. There is communication with doctors, and there has been no need for hospitalisation, at least until now.”

Arrival from South Africa

Borboudaki said that the fact that the person had travelled from South Africa raised concerns from the start.

“When he came to Crete, the public health mechanism was activated in cooperation with the president of the National Public Health Organisation [EODY] and all involved services,” she said.

She stressed the need for all citizens to abide by public health regulations to protect themselves from the pandemic, and for everyone to be vaccinated.
National Public Health Organisation

EODY president Theoklis Zaoutis said that the man entered Greece on 26 November, initially took several rapid tests that were negative, and continues to have light symptoms.

The man took a rapid test every day and each turned out negative. Thereafter, he took a PCR test and genetic screening for the Omicron variant was performed and the test came up positive.

Zaoutis confirmed that there has been tracing of the infected person’s contacts and noted that it was simply a matter of time for the Omicron variant to be confirmed in Greece.