Greece may have effectively contained the spread of Covid-19 in the previous months due to lockdown measures but the situation may easily “get out of hand” if vigilance isn’t continued, said infectious diseases professor and health ministry spokesperson Sotiris Tsiodras on Tuesday.
Speaking during the weekly Covid-19 briefing alongside Deputy Crisis Management Minister Nikos Hardalias, Tsiodras explained that the sudden increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in Greece is in large part due to movement of individuals through travel as well as to increased testing.
Referring to the epidemiological curve, the professor – who heads the government’s Covid-19 committee – confirmed that a higher number of coronavirus cases have been “imported” due to Greece’s opening to tourists in July.
He then expressed high concern about the rapid increase in the domestic Covid-19 infection rate but added the health system was not being burdened.
Tsiodras went on to cite increased transmission of the virus in crowded conditions at weddings and bars. He added that there has also been a shift of cases to younger people who are now being screened – something that did not take place during lockdown. Tsiodras said that many individuals are carriers and asymptomatic.
The health authority stressed that caution and strict adherence to hygiene rules are necessary as Covid-19 is “an unprecedented situation and not a simple flu… every case produces on average one more,” he said.
According to data presented on Tuesday, there were 121 new Covid-19 cases bringing the total number to 4,855.
Tsiodras strongly advised the use of mask – which is now mandatory – especially in areas where social distancing is impossible.
In the meantime, during the briefing, Hardalias announced a series of additional measures that take effect this week, including increased border controls, attendance limits at events, and heightened screening at food factories.