Greece is bracing for what seems to be an imminent second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic after a surge in cases this month.
On Tuesday, Greek health authorities reported 168 new infections, 45 of which in Attica, 24 in Thessaloniki, 12 on Lesvos, 10 in Heraklion, eight on the Cyclades islands, and 23 found in arriving travelers.
Epidemiologist Gkikas Magiorkinis told a bi-weekly Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday, that the number of coronavirus cases is still very high widely spread across the country.
Magiorkinis said that a possible second will likely be milder but was still showing signs of increasing figures with concerns focused on the quick spread of the virus and its uneven transmission rates.
Referring to the coming months, Magiorkinis said he expected an increase in infections due to a return to closed spaces and stressed that the use of mask was the best safeguard at the moment so as to avoid a second round of lockdown measures.
Referring to incoming tourists, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said 723 cases were imported in August, underlining however that the surge in cases in Greece is in no way linked to tourism.
“We see countries that did well at the beginning of the pandemic, now they are experiencing a second wave. This also happened in Greece. The rise is due to the spread of the virus within the country. That is why extra measures have been taken in various regions,” he said.
Attica Region Allocates Funds for Extra Medical and Nursing Staff
In Attica, where experts expect the highest number of cases in the coming days due to the return of holidaymakers and the opening of schools, Regional Governor Giorgos Patoulis allocated nearly 100 million euros in funding to boost medical and nursing staff at 73 Attica health facilities for the next two years.
In relevant Covid-19 news, authorities announced that emergency measures at Ambelonas in Larissa implemented earlier this month have been lifted. As of today and through to 6am on September 2, the midnight-7am curfew at bars, clubs, and restaurants remains in effect as does the 50 max cap on participation at social events, public or private, with the exceptions of restaurants, theatre, and cinemas.
On the island of Lesvos, which has imposed tighter measures due to a rise in cases, the central Vostanio General Hospital announced that regular surgeries have been suspended until August 31 after two hospital employees were found to be positive to the virus.
Athens Announces Covid-19 Management Plan
In the Greek capital, meanwhile, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis announced the municipality’s action plan for the Covid-19 crisis as Athenians return from their holidays and schools prepare to open.
In collaboration with the country’s National Public Health Organization (EODY), the municipality will be carrying out daily sanitation of roads, squares and public spaces in 129 neighborhoods, distributing free masks to students and teachers at all Athens schools, increasing staff at Athens municipal health clinics, and reinstating help hotlines – 210-3638049 (medical issues), 210-3637692 (psychological support) and 210-8839151 (employment support); and increasing blood donor days at municipal health clinics in efforts to meet the demand.
The city also said that it had reinstated its Help at Home Plus program offering vulnerable groups counseling, medical care, as well as the delivery of basic goods such as medicine and groceries.
In regard to services, the municipality now offers 39 services online at https://eservices.cityofathens.gr/and as of September 1, city residents will be able to book an appointment online for city services or by phone on 1595.
*ATTENTION: All guidelines and information reported have been obtained by the National Public Health Organization (EODY) and official press briefings and are subject to change based on the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic, government decisions, and European Union directives.