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Protests in northern Greece by virulent anti-vaxxers are under way this evening. Demonstrators in Thessaloniki have been chanting: “We are living under occupation. We have to understand it in order to liberate Greece.”
The protests come amid a surge in Covid-19 infections that is causing growing alarm as the country battles a fourth wave of the pandemic blamed largely on the refusal of a significant number of Greeks to have the jab.
The public health body (EODY) announced 2,727 new cases today following a record- breaking 4,696 diagnoses on Saturday. An additional 44 Covid-related fatalities brought the death toll to just under 16,000 in a population of around 11 million.
Of the 421 people on life support, 357 (85%) are unvaccinated, or only partially inoculated, with epidemiologists speaking of an “epidemic” among those who have yet to be fully jabbed.
Anti-vaccine protests has been especially strong in northern Greece, where far-right groups have also infiltrated the movement.
Prominent frontline doctors, many of whom speak regularly about the pandemic and the need to vaccinate against Covid-19, have reportedly received death threats.
In the latest case, Theodoros Vassilakopoulos, a leading professor of respiratory and critical care medicine, was physically assaulted in a taverna on Saturday after asking the restaurant’s owners to inspect whether its clientele were in possession of Covid-19 certificates.
Organisers of the anti-vaccine protest in Thessaloniki called on participants to support the taverna’s proprietors by giving the eatery glowing reviews on social media.