NEWS

Experts fear severe spike in Covid cases

PENNY BOULOUTZA

TAGS: Coronavirus

With winter approaching there is mounting concern among health experts that the current second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could transform into a veritable tsunami.

This heightened concern stems not just from the spike in cases but also the upward trend in intubated patients and deaths, as well as the surge in demand for ICU beds.

Indicatively, in Attica alone, the number of cases exceeded 1,000 last week.

“We have probably exceeded 100,000 cases in our country, of which at least 10,000-15,000 are active,” Yannis Tountas, professor of social and preventive medicine at Athens University, stressed to Kathimerini.

Newly diagnosed cases rose from 337 in May to 5,994 in August. The corresponding numbers of intubated patients were nine and 35 respectively, while the figures for deaths were 35 and 60.

“The evolution of epidemiological data clearly marks a second epidemic wave,” Tountas said. 

In response, the National Health System (ESY) has already sounded a general alarm while the government has introduced new restrictive measures in Attica – in moves reminiscent of the ones in the period leading up to the lockdown across the country in March.

More specifically, as of Monday and for the next 14 days, in addition to the measures already in force, teleworking is mandatory for 40% of employees in private and public sector offices. The maximum number of people allowed to be present at indoor and outdoor gatherings is nine people, and 20 at weddings, funerals and christenings.

Concerts will have to be canceled and cinemas are closed.

Depending on the number of new cases and intubations over the next 20 days, a possible new deterioration of epidemiological indicators could lead to a limited lockdown, something the government has not ruled out.

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