Health authorities were on tenterhooks on Tuesday after new coronavirus infections hit a fresh record – 667 in one day – and the average age of cases continued to drop, indicating that younger people are driving the new upward transmission trend.
Of the new cases, 250 were in Attica and 125 in Thessaloniki. Health experts have described the rate of increase in the capital as stable but fragile and are more concerned about the sharper spike in Thessaloniki and other cities in northern Greece such as Kastoria and Ioannina. Health officials are to meet this afternoon to discuss whether additional restrictions should be imposed in those areas.
Last week authorities put Kozani under lockdown after categorizing it as level 4, or red, in a tiered system ranking the level of transmission of coronavirus.
Tuesday’s 667 new cases brought the nationwide total to 26,469 while eight new fatalities pushed the death toll to 528.
A key concern is that young people aged between 18 and 39 account for the majority of new infections, according to epidemiologist Gkikas Magiorkinis. The average age of new infections in Thessaloniki and Attica is 30 and 33 respectively.
Magiorkinis appealed to younger people to “be particularly careful, to wear a mask and avoid overcrowding with people who do not belong to their close circle.”
Although most young people who contract Covid-19 do not suffer as severe symptoms as the elderly, the current spike is expected to result in more patients needing intubation two weeks from now, according to health experts. On Tuesday, 87 patients were in intensive care.