Experts calm but vigilant as virus spreads

Experts calm but vigilant as virus spreads

With the number of coronavirus cases rising steadily since the start of August, health experts remain calm but vigilant, paying close attention to the indicators, as the slightest variation matters.

Authorities reported 5,207 infections ​​​​​​from August 1 to 27, out of the total of 9,531 cases in Greece since the start of the pandemic earlier in the year.

“We have observed a slight flattening of the curve, with new cases steady at between 200 and 300, which may indicate that measures adopted in early August are taking effect,” said Nikos Sypsas, an infectious diseases professor at the Athens School of Medicine and a member of the government’s expert committee. In comments to Kathimerini, he added that concern would mount if cases spiked exponentially. “We would be particularly concerned if we had a doubling of cases every day, an exponential growth of the pandemic. That is not the case right now,” he said. 

A critical indicator is the number of intubated patients, which reached 31 in the August 20-26 period, from 23.4 on average in the August 5-20 period.

“As things stand now we can handle the situation. However, if the numbers continue to increase, things will get very difficult,” said Matina Pagoni, the president of the Athens and Piraeus Hospital Doctors’ Association (EINAP).

By the end of December, she stressed, hospitals must have access to 1,300 intensive care beds. “We have to prepare for a difficult winter. Let’s not forget that since October we also have the H1N1 flu virus, for which everyone should be vaccinated this year, but also a lot of other diseases that need to be treated in hospitals. We tend to forget this with Covid-19,” she added.

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