The government announced Wednesday that existing measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, like obliging restaurants and bars to close at midnight, will be extended for another week from January 23 until the end of the month.
The decision was taken on the advice of the committee of experts advising the government on the coronavirus, with Health Minister Thanos Plevris expressing concern over the situation at hospitals.
Kathimerini understands the reason which led to the extension was that, despite the clear de-escalation of cases, the health system is still struggling under the intense pressure as a result of the large spike in infections since December 27.
Moreover, despite the clear predominance of the Omicron variant, Greece still has a disproportionately large number of hospitalizations, including cases due to the Delta variant, which has not receded and is responsible for half the admissions.
What’s more, the government also wanted an extension of the measures because January was considered as a “lost cause” due to the onslaught of the Omicron variant.
The view that January would be disrupted by Omicron was also shared by public opinion.
Bearing this in mind, the government deemed that there was no reason to take the risk of lifting the measures a week earlier, when the ultimate aim is to have a better February.
Referring to the extension of the measures earlier Wednesday morning, Plevris said “there is a general understanding among all scientists” that around 20-25 days of these measures are needed.
The question is what specific measures will be lifted on January 31.