NEWS

Infection rate in Thessaloniki is five times worse than Athens

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Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, has five times the epidemiological load of Attica, but shows signs of faster improvement as the region was placed under lockdown a week earlier than the capital, epidemiologist Gikas Magiorkinis said on Monday.

“In simple words, if Attica was in the state Thessaloniki is today, it would have had more than 2,200 infections per day,” he told a regular press briefing on the coronavirus.

The slowly improving trend in the northern port city may also be due to the fact that it is a smaller urban center, he explained.

“However, due to the large epidemiological burden it has and the fact that it is a large urban center, the gravity index will take a long time to improve and that is why a strict adherence to the measures is necessary to stabilize the situation.” In Thessaloniki, “there is no room for any deviation from the measures,” he said.

At the same time, data shows that the majority of new infections are recorded outside the regions of Attica and Thessaloniki. Last week, Attica reported the mildest deterioration of the last 30 days as well as the most significant contraction of the Rt index with signs of even a decrease in the active number of cases, he said.

But these apparent and “extremely fragile” signs of improvement are not enough to immediately relieve the pressure on the health system which is likely to face more hospital admissions while the number of patients who need to be intubated will continue to rise for the next 7-10 days in Athens.