The average rate of daily new Covid-19 infections dropped to 620 last week from 985 the week before and 1,500 at the end of May, as the number of intubated patients eased by 150 week-on-week and hospital admissions dropped to 739 from 1,433 in the last week of May, official figures show.
“We are in a steady de-escalation of the third wave. We expect a further de-escalation over the coming weeks thanks to the expansion of vaccinations in combination with health safety protocols,” Athens University epidemiologist Dimitrios Paraskevis told Kathimerini.
The assistant professor estimates that, at present rates, the number of intubated Covid-19 patients will drop below 200 by the end of the month, with fatalities easing to single digits and new infections at half what they are now.
Nevertheless, he warns, a fourth wave should not be ruled out in the fall, driven by more transmissible and resistant strains of the novel coronavirus.
“This will mainly concern unvaccinated people, though it will also depend on the prevalence of variants and their ability to infect people who already have immunity,” he says.
His warning echoes last week’s risk assessment report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which advises that “decisions to ease measures need to be highly sensitive to the local context and include considerations about the current viral circulation, the prevalence of [variants of concern] and the vaccination status.”