NEWS

Covid uptick due to rise of Omicron BA.2

Covid uptick due to rise of Omicron BA.2

At a time when the Committee of Experts advising the Greek government on coronavirus issues is being urged to consider a timetable for a further de-escalation of restrictive measures, medical professionals are talking about a resurgence of the Covid-19 wave due to the prevalence of Omicron BA.2 in Greece and the rest of Europe. 

Indicatively, in the last two days, the number of daily cases has increased again. Hospital admissions now stand at more than 400 daily, although so far this has not had a dramatic impact on intubations.

Speaking to Skai, professor of microbiology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Athanasios Tsakris said Omicron BA.2 causes relatively mild infections, like the original Omicron variant, but has a longer duration. 

Tellingly, when people are infected they remain positive even with an antigen (rapid) test for about 10 days, which helps to further spread the virus and keep the viral load relatively high for a longer period of time.

The most recent data of the National Public Health Organization (EODY) on Tuesday showed that the epidemic burden remains high, with 28,933 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and a positivity rate of 6.65%, the highest in the last two and a half months. 

Patient deaths from Covid-19 over the previous 24 hours were 49. Of the new cases, 11,207 were detected in Attica and 2,827 in Thessaloniki.

A clear increase in the viral load was observed last week, according to EODY’s National Network of Sewage Epidemiology, in Attica, Ioannina, Agios Nikolaos and Iraklio. Intubations have remained more or less constant over the last two weeks, with 351 on Tuesday.

Experts had estimated in early March that the number of intubated patients would have dropped to 300 by the end of the month, but this has not been the case, due to the emergence of Omicron BA.2 and the easing of measures.