Following a sharp spike of confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Greece on Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday is expected to assess the situation with his ministers and health experts.
The National Health Organization (EODY) on Saturday reported 110 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in Greece to 4,587. Saturday’s sharp rise in cases follows 78 infections on Friday and 65 on Thursday. Due to the rise in cases during last week, the government on Friday announced a series of new rules for August, looking to curb the number of infections.
According to reports, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is scheduled to hold a teleconference on Monday with health professor Sotiris Tsiodras; the deputy minister of civil protection, Nikos Hardalias; health minister, Vassilis Kikilias; and other executives, to evaluate the situation.
Media reports said it is very likely that the Greek PM will address the public in a televised address to the nation.
Health expert: Greece is ‘one step before’ a second Covid-19 wave
Greek infectious disease expert, Nikos Sipsas, on Saturday expressed concern of the situation and underlined that Greece is “one step before” a second wave of the epidemic.
Speaking to SKAI TV, Sipsas referred to the sudden escalation of coronavirus cases to 110 on Saturday and said that if the situation continues, a second wave will include hundreds of cases every day.
“We are in what we call a ‘red alert’… Now is the time for great consensus. Complacency, crowding and thinking that the problem is over are not allowed,” the expert stressed.
Sipsas underlined the importance of social distancing and wearing face masks.
“If from today all Greeks try and keep their distances and wear masks, the rise of the epidemic will quickly reverse and we will have a very good August. It’s not too late,” he underlined.
The health expert added that the government is already discussing more stringent measures, which will be taken should the daily increase of cases and the growing trend of the epidemic curve continues.
“There is a possibility of local lockdowns,” Sipsas said, adding that such measures, which would have a very bad impact on the Greek economy, will not need to be taken as long as “we all understand the danger”.
Authorities step up checks
Amid the rise of Covid-19 cases, the Greek authorities began stepping up enforcement to make sure all protection measures against the coronavirus are being observed.
The coast guard on Saturday carried out extensive checks on ferries entering and departing Greek ports. According to reports, dozens of violations were identified and fined.
Moreover, more than 1,000 checks were carried out on means of public transport and 24 violations were recorded.
Eighteen violations concerned passengers who refused to wear masks and were fined 150 euros. The other sic violations concerned KTEL buses, which were traveling with excessive numbers of passengers.