NEWS

Measures reconsidered amid Covid spike

With virus cases rising above 2,000 yesterday, government reassesses moves to contain spread

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The uptick in coronavirus infections, which on Thursday exceeded 2,000, has forced the government to reconsider the measures that had been announced. 

“The pandemic is not a linear, but a dynamic situation,” government spokesperson said Aristotelia Peloni during Thursday’s press briefing, adding that the framework governing the way dining and entertainment areas operate could change depending on the epidemiological situation.

Kathimerini understands that one option on the table is to announce the opening of closed spaces – currently not allowed – only for the vaccinated. In this case, the separation of “mixed” and “pure” spaces that had been announced will not apply as all closed spaces will be only for vaccinated customers. 

Entrepreneurs will have the right to use open spaces as they please, allowing both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

For his part, Deputy Prime Minister Akis Skertsos echoed the same sentiment as Peloni, telling Mega TV that all possibilities are open as the pandemic is a dynamic phenomenon.

Also on Thursday authorities issued a strong recommendation to people returning from trips to the islands and the mainland to perform self-tests, and to wear masks in all indoor and busy open spaces.

There was however no decision regarding mandatory molecular tests or rapid tests for those returning from the islands, according to Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, as it was deemed that it should first be ascertained if the islands can conduct such tests.

According to Athens University professor of pediatric infectious diseases Vana Papaevangelou and assistant professor of epidemiology Gkikas Magiorkinis, the pandemic now concerns young people, mainly due to the vaccination of older age groups.

“Today we are facing a new outbreak of the epidemic, whose main feature is the significant increase in cases among young people,” said Papaevangelou, noting that the median age of new cases is now 23 years – a drop of almost 10 years in the last two weeks. 

Health authorities on Thursday confirmed 2,107 new cases of Covid-19, of which 1,115 are in Attica, 89 in Rethymno, 79 in Ioannina and 74 in Thessaloniki. 

The average number of daily cases in the last seven days has risen to 1,081 compared to 442 last week.