Increased movement as the holiday season kicks into gear and a relaxed attitude among young people aged 18-24 appear to be the main factors driving the upward trend in coronavirus infections, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Monday.
Speaking an emergency public briefing in Athens, EODY chief Theoklis Zaoutis and epidemiology and preventive medicine expert Dimitris Paraskevis pointed to data showing that the number of active cases nationwide right now is estimated at between 150,000 and 200,000.
Paraskevis noted that the biggest increases in cases have been seen on the islands of the Ionian and southern Aegean and in Crete, but also in the Greek capital.
The experts added that the SARS-CoV-2 transmission rate has been calculated at 1.3 – meaning that every 10 people infected will infect another 13 – backing estimates that the current wave will peak by the middle of the month.
Hospital admissions and intubations have also been rising in the past three weeks, the EODY representatives confirmed, though they added that the public health system has not come under undue pressure yet.
That said, they also noted that the expert committee advising the government will be making a recommendation for masks to become mandatory in all indoor public settings like supermarkets and stores.