Expert warns Covid-19 infections may hit 2,000 mark this weekend

Expert warns Covid-19 infections may hit 2,000 mark this weekend

A microbiologist on Greece’s coronavirus expert committee warned on Friday morning that at the current rate of transmission, new infections could reach and pass the 2,000 mark this weekend.

Speaking to Skai television, West Attica University Professor Alakiviadis Vatopoulos said that new daily infections appear to be doubling on a weekly to 10-day basis, jumping from around 400 at the start of the month to 800 and now reaching well over 1,000 within a few weeks. He also stressed that the majority of new infections right now concern young people, warning that the situation will get a lot worse in terms of fatalities and the health system’s ability to cope, when transmission starts affecting older individuals.

Vatopoulos said that the committee has already discussed extending the curfew in areas struggling to contain the second wave of the pandemic, including Attica where bars and restaurants are currently ordered to close at midnight and circulation is banned from 12.30 to 5 a.m. Prohibiting travel between regional units is also in the cards, he said.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is due to announce new measures for containing the virus on Friday, though he has stressed that the government is eager to avoid a complete lockdown that would have a devastating effect on the economy.

“As a doctor I would say to shut everything down, but I understand that it’s a tough decision,” Vatopoulos said in response to a question about the possibility of a lockdown.

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