NEWS

Next fortnight pivotal, with peak expected

next-fortnight-pivotal-with-peak-expected

With the daily infection and death rates hovering at a consistently high level and amid heightened concerns on a pan-European level due to the Omicron variant, the next fortnight will be pivotal regarding the strategy the government deploys to manage the fourth pandemic, whose peak is expected, according to estimates, around mid-December. 

Nonetheless, despite the ever-increasing pressure on the health system, government estimates suggest the situation can remain under control, ruling out the prospect of a general lockdown. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself has categorically and repeatedly rejected the idea, insisting on the priority of keeping the market and education of all levels open.

Kathimerini understands that emergency measures are only restricted to certain local areas, modeled on those in place in other European countries. These provide for restrictions on the opening hours of restaurants and entertainment venues in conjunction with the ban on music and standing in those places. Additional restrictions on the unvaccinated or an extension of mandatory shots have been rejected as counterproductive.

Essentially, the government will stick to its threefold goal of increasing vaccinations as far as possible, intensifying controls for strict compliance with the measures that came into force last Monday, and boosting the National Health System with private sector backup. 

The positivity percentage over the last seven days has been stable, ranging from 1.78% to 1.81%. Correspondingly, the seven-day fluctuating average of cases was stable over the last week with about 6,700 cases, while the average number of hospital admissions was 447 patients. Government officials point out the pressure on the health system last spring was much higher and intubations reached 841.