Epidemiologist and head of the government’s Covid-19 committee Professor Sotiris Tsiodras urged the government to take immediate action after the number of cases countrywide soared burdening the already overwhelmed public health system.
Greece recorded 2,917 confirmed coronavirus cases in the last 24 hour with 862 incidents in Thessaloniki, 588 in Attica, and 168 in Serres, Northern Greece.
“Never in the country’s contemporary history have there been so many ICU (intensive care unit) patients from a virus that causes pneumonia,” said Tsiodras during the announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday afternoon.
In an attempt to explain the government’s about-face, Tsiodras added that the coronavirus was behind more than 170 hospital admissions per day, causing unbearable pressure on public health facilities.
“There are now more people admitted to hospitals than are being discharged,” he said.
He went on to add that ICUs for Covid-19 cases in Attica had reached 66 percent of their capacity with those in Thessaloniki at 78 percent of their capacity.
This said, the committee advised the prime minister to take immediate action and order a lockdown as the spread has increased exponentially with the number of cases now exceeding 1,679 cases per day. At the same time, since September 10, the number of PCR positive test results increased by 9 percent. The committee, Tsiodras said, was also monitoring possible changes in virus behaviour.
Indicatively, in the past week, the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections increased by 20 percent, authorities said.
The deadly coronavirus is more of a threat to males and people over 75 years of age, but Tsiodras added that chances of individuals in their mid-60s being infected had increased significantly. He noted that in the past weeks, more than 1,000 people over 65 were infected with the virus per day.
Reiterating the need to wear masks at all times and to adhere to rules, Tsiodras urged people to be wary of fake news, seek real data and make informed decisions.
“The pandemic is not a lie… there is no microchip in the vaccine,” he said.