NEWS

Pandemic peak expected in mid-August

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Despite some ominous estimates a couple of week ago that daily coronavirus cases may even reach 10,000, some scientists are now predicting that the current wave of the pandemic will peak in the first half of August.

Last week the rate of increase in new cases was 12% nationwide compared to the period from July 7 to 14, when the daily infection rate more than doubled. The downward trend has also prompted experts to reassess their estimates.

More specifically, according to forecast models cited by professor of Environmental Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Dimosthenis Sarigiannis, the fourth wave is expected to peak on August 10-12, with a weekly average of around 3,400 new cases reported a day.

Speaking to Skai TV, Sarigiannis said that from the middle of August on, the course of the pandemic will depend on the progress of the vaccination program.

“If we raise the rates (of vaccination) then we expect a stabilization, initially, followed by a drop. If we stay at current rates then the estimate is that there will be a stabilization at high levels, of around 3,400 per day, until the end of August and then a further increase from the fall,” he said.

Sarigiannis also noted that the epidemic is showing a tendency of decline in Attica, since many residents have left for holidays. On the contrary, popular tourism destinations are seeing upward trends.

The rise in cases in recent weeks also coincided with an increase in testing due to more stringent inspections by health authorities but also because of the policy of mandatory testing of passengers before boarding ferry boats and airplanes. 

In the meantime, health authorities Monday announced 2,070 new cases of Covid-19 after almost 45,000 tests were conducted. Of these, 671 were in Attica, 262 in of Thessaloniki, 112 in Iraklio and 65 in Hania on Crete, and 51 in Rhodes. Five deaths were also reported, while 147 patients were on ventilators.