Greece announces 32 cases of mutated strain of COVID-19 since December


ATHENS, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- A total of 32 cases of the mutated strain of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Greece after further analysis of samples going back to Nov. 11, Greece's National Public Health Organization (EODY) announced on Sunday.

The first positive case of the new variant of the virus -- first detected in Britain -- dates back to a sample taken on Dec. 23 in Athens, according to an e-mailed EODY press release.

Greek experts analyzed 235 samples taken in the Nov. 11-Jan. 18 period and found 17 cases of the mutated strain of the novel coronavirus in Attica region, 8 on Crete island, 3 at entry points and the rest concern close contacts of the positive cases, it was announced.

Greece is in a nationwide lockdown since Nov. 7. Greek officials on Friday said that it will be further extended to Feb. 1 in the context of efforts to address the second wave of the pandemic.

On Sunday, EODY announced 334 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours which bring the total since the pandemic's first case in Greece on Feb. 28, 2020 to 151,980.

EODY also confirmed another 24 deaths, bringing the standing total in Greece to 5,646.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in Greece and some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 64 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 22.

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