Greek authorities on Wednesday warned that the country’s lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) may be toughened further due to the recent spike in single-day confirmed infections.
The Hellenic National Public Health Organization (EODY) on Wednesday reported a total of 1,151 new Covid-19 cases in Greece and 27 deaths. Most cases (612) were recorded in Attica, which is currently in “red” status.
Data showed that coronavirus infections in Attica alone have increased by 77.9 percent, with active cases in the region now at 3,791 and most cases (1,040, up by 67 percent) found in the center of Athens.
Speaking to ANT1 TV, the president of the Panhellenic Medical Association and member of the health ministry’s expert committee, Athanasios Exadaktylos, said that if the numbers of new Covid-19 cases continue to rise then Greece must take “steps backwards” and new measures must be imposed.
Explaining what he meant by new measures, Exadaktylos said that “activities that have recently resumed should be reversed” with reports underlining that this may include restricting movement further by imposing a new curfew, retail stores closing at 5pm or even imposing a full lockdown, similar to Greece’s first lockdown in March 2020.
Greek Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis on Wednesday left open the possibility of the government imposing a stricter curfew to restrict movement.
At the moment Greece’s general curfew starts at 9pm and ends at 5am with movement banned from 6pm until 5am only in areas that have “red” Covid-19 status.
Chrysochoidis did not rule out banning movement in the whole country as of 6pm instead of 9pm.
Hard lockdown considered
Commenting on the possibility of a stricter curfew, Professor Dimosthenis Sarigiannis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki said that it would be a “half measure” and underlined that if Greece wants to “drastically avoid the third wave” then the country must go into a “March-type lockdown” for exactly three weeks and restrict many activities.
Depending on the rise in cases and rates of hospital admissions and intubations over the next two days, health experts expect to know by Friday, February 5, if Greece has officially entered a third wave of the pandemic and if stricter measures will be needed to be enforced.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country has reached 159,866. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 5.878.