NEWS

No post-holiday Covid flare-up, experts note

PENNY BOULOUTZA

TAGS: Coronavirus

The indications that the partial easing of the restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus over the holidays had a limited impact are growing, according to health experts.

“It is encouraging that we do not have an increase in cases. We would like to have a decrease, but it is very good that we do not have an increase,” said Maria Tsolia, professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Athens University and a member of the Committee of Experts and the National Vaccination Committee, who noted the holidays had only had a limited effect. 

“We see that the effect of Christmas was not very negative. We expect to see what will happen in the coming days,” she stressed. 

Tellingly on Wednesday, health authorities confirmed 671 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 to 146,688. Of these, 271 cases were detected in Attica and 69 in Thessaloniki.

The average number of daily cases over the last seven days came to 657. 

Also on Wednesday, 340 patients remained intubated, while 25 deaths were reported, raising the total death toll to 5,354.

Guarded optimism also stemmed from the active reproduction number of the disease (Rt) for Greece, with estimates putting it at 0.77, while the percentage of positive tests in the week of January 4-10 was 2.49%. The corresponding alarm threshold set by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control is 4%. 

Presenting the latest epidemiological data on Wednesday, Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias said the areas with the most cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days were West Attica, Viotia, Lesvos, Kalymnos, Rodopi, Argolida and Halkidiki.

From Thursday until January 18, additional measures will be in force in the region of Argolida and the municipality of Sparta.

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