Greek infectious disease expert, Nikos Sypsas, on Wednesday warned that emergency measures may have to be imposed on Attica due to the recent rise of coronavirus (Covid-19) infections in the region.
“The active cases in Attica are many,” Sipsas said to Skai TV, adding that the problem has spread from the region’s central sector to the northern, eastern and western sectors as well.
His comments came after the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) announced 858 new coronavirus cases and 32 deaths in Greece. Most of the announced infections (409) were reported in the greater Athens area.
In total, according to EODY figures, at the moment in Greece there are 5,324 active cases, of which 2,374 are in Attica.
According to Sypsas, Attica will be at the center of an emergency meeting of Greece’s infectious disease specialists on Thursday.
Re-opening of high schools may be pushed back
“Epidemiologists will make an emergency assessment of the situation,” Sypsas said, adding that there is a possibility of suspending the re-opening of high schools and that shopping may have to return to the “click-away” method (online and phone orders).
It is reminded that from January 18 shoppers returned to making purchases in person at Greece’s retail stores and shopping malls.
When asked if the rise in cases was due in fact to the reopening of retail stores, Sypsas said that experts will have a clearer picture next week.
Speaking earlier to Skai TV, Athens University Professor Athanasios Dimopoulos said that next week it will be decided if lockdown restrictions in Greece will ease.
Besides Attica, 8 other areas see rise in infections
Similar concerns on the rise in Covid-19 cases in Greece were expressed by Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias.
During the ministry’s Covid-19 Wednesday media briefing, Kikilias said that besides Attica, the epidemiological burden of another eight other areas in Greece – Santorini, Mykonos, Viotia, Rhodes, Lakonia, Magnesia, Evia and Achaia – were of concern.
The minister said that experts are monitoring the data on a daily basis and that the government “is determined to lift or take new measures if necessary”.
He also added that the number of hospitalisations remains high, noting that 112 new hospital admissions of Covid-19 patients were recorded on Wednesday alone.
Referring to the epidemiological situation of the past week, he said that the average number of cases is 547 per day and the average age of those diagnosed is 48 years. Kikilias also noted an increase in new diagnoses affecting people over the age of 65.
With Wednesday’s figures, the total number of coronavirus cases in Greece has reached 154,083 since the start of the pandemic. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 5,724.