Two more regions of Greece, the municipality of Evosmos-Kordelio in the north and the island of Kalymnos, were placed in strict lockdown on Friday for at least nine days, due to an alarming rise in coronavirus infections, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced.
They joined Attica, Achaia, Evia and Mykonos, which are also enforcing strict rules on movement.
Most of the concern in Evosmos stems from cases of the South African variant of the virus, which at the moment at least seems to be confined to certain areas of the country.
On the other hand, there is a greater dispersion of the British variant, which, according to assistant professor of epidemiology at Athens University Gkikas Magiorkinis, accounts for around 40% of new cases recorded in some parts of the country, including Attica.
Both Magiorkinis and Athens University professor of infectious diseases Vana Papaevangelou noted that the viral load showed signs of stabilization last week.
This also applies to Attica, as a result of the mild restrictive measures that were applied before the strict lockdown on February 12.
Experts anticipate the effects of the hard lockdown to be reflected in essential indicators as of Monday.
Meanwhile on Friday, 1,460 new infections of Covid-19 were confirmed (177,494 in total since the beginning of the epidemic) and 28 deaths (6,249). Of the new cases, 741 were located in Attica, 142 in Thessaloniki and 104 in Achaia.
A total of 325 patients with Covid-19 were being treated by intubation on Friday at noon. In the last seven days the number of new daily cases averaged 1,040. There has also been a slight increase in admissions of patients with coronavirus to hospitals in the last seven days.
Tellingly, the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees raised the alarm Friday that occupancy rates at Attica’s intensive care units are reaching ominous levels.