The Greek government’s committee of health experts is expected on Wednesday to push for a two-week full lockdown, following the alarming number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases announced on Tuesday by the National Public Health Organization (EODY).
The organization reported 2,353 new coronavirus cases, with 1,100 infections in Attica alone.
Greece’s health experts will hold their weekly meeting on Wednesday morning and decisions are expected to be announced later in the evening during the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 media briefing.
According to reports, the committee will most likely request for Greece to be put under a hard lockdown – similar to the country’s first lockdown in March 2020 – immediately: from 6am on Thursday, March 4, until Shrove Monday, a public holiday which marks the beginning of Lent, on March 15.
Most likely scenario
On the other hand, reports also mention that the most likely scenario will see the government stepping up checks to ascertain that the country’s safety measures are being followed, and possibly imposing a limit to the use of certain sms movement options – specifically option “4” (to provide assistance to people in need) and option “6” (to exercise outdoors) in order to combat the “excessive use” of both options that has been recorded and to limit movement between municipalities.
According to Professor Dimosthenis Sarigiannis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, a full lockdown lasting more than 2 weeks, like the one that took place last March, is what Greece actually needs to curb the surge in infections.
“Either we impose a total lockdown and carry it out seriously, or else we must open and operate in accordance to the best possible safety measures we can,” he stressed.
“I think we should remain consistent in what the country set as a goal from the start and therefore go to a stricter but a much more serious lockdown,” Sarigiannis said, adding that in practice, right now citizens “are not implementing the measures properly”.
With Tuesday’s figures, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Greece has reached 194,582 since the start of the pandemic. The death toll in the country has reached 6,557 with the addition of 23 fatalities on Tuesday.