Health expert returns to warn against complacency as infections jump to 121

Health expert returns to warn against complacency as infections jump to 121

The Health Ministry’s top scientific adviser on coronavirus warned Greeks on Tuesday that they must remain vigilant to prevent infections from getting out of hand, after health authorities confirmed 121 new cases in the last 24 hours, the largest number since April 22.

In his first and exceptional appearance in a televised briefing since May 26, infectious diseases expert Sotiris Tsiodras said the jump in infections is due to wider testing and the arrival of tourists and the increase in people's movement, but most infections detected are domestic.

He also announced that the the coronavirus reproduction number R in Greece now stands at 1.

“Great vigilance is needed for any exponential increase [of infections] so that things do not spiral out of control,” he told journalists, adding that one positive element is the still small number of patients treated in intensive care units.

Tsiodras said the data shows that most infections are domestic.

He also said he strongly supports the use of face masks in all closed venues and even open areas when there is not enough social distancing.

Despite the concerns,Tsiodras clarified that no general lockdown or a return to the sms system for leaving the house is required.

In the same press conference, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced anyone entering Greece from Albania as of August 16 will be required to quarantine for a week.

In its daily bulletin, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said the total number of infections in Greece stands at 4,855, while no new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

He also announced that intensive inspections will be carried out in food processing factories, after 35 infections were traced to workers at a meat processing factory in Kavala and their relatives.

The overall number of fatalities remains at 209.

Thirteen patients are intubated in hospitals (median age is 70), while 129 have left ICU.

The total number of tests conducted by health authorities is 599,709.

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