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Health expert warns of Covid surge after holiday season

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A leading health expert has warned of a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, driven by the highly-infectious Omicron variant, after the holiday season, calling for stricter measures to curb the spread.

“The holidays will be followed by a tsunami of infections,” George Pavlakis, a distinguished physician, research scientist based in the US, told Skai radio on Thursday.

Pavlakis said authorities should impose fresh restrictions to brace for a surge in cases, including an earlier closure of schools for the winter break and stricter measures for bars and restaurants. He did not provide more details. 

“The situation at ICUs is out of control; the number of cases must be brought down; we need stricter measures everywhere; we must reduce social contacts,” he said, warning that, at the current rate, the number of Covid-related deaths will exceed 25,000 by Easter. 

A total of 19,553 people have died in Greece due to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to official figures released on Wednesday.