NEWS

Coronavirus load still high despite a month in lockdown

coronavirus-load-still-high-despite-a-month-in-lockdown

Greece’s struggle with the coronavirus pandemic remains a difficult one, a month after the lockdown began, according to the country’s color-coded epidemiological map.

Of Greece’s 74 regional units, 20 are green, 18 yellow, 11 orange and 25 red, with the latter two colors representing high rates of infection. The map also shows that the situation in northern Greece is still particularly aggravated in relation to other geographical areas. Many islands on the map are green due to their geographical isolation. 

Given the epidemiological situation, government spokesman Stelios Petsas on Monday announced that schools, restaurants and entertainment in general, and the courts will not open until January 7.

Regarding retail trade, hairdressers, barber shops and churches, he said announcements will be made over the coming days, most likely on Friday. What was not clarified was how long the SMS system to move around will remain in operation.

Kathimerini understands that proposals have been made for retail businesses to open with restrictions in green and yellow areas and for the measures to remain in place in orange and red areas.

This possibility has disadvantages, as it could send a message of relaxation to areas with a lower epidemiological burden. It could also have advantages, as it is fairer and would drive the economy in some areas that have been shown to have less dispersion.

The gradual decline in the number of new cases, and the comparatively lower epidemiological burden compared to previous weeks, has so far not relieved the pressure on the health system, and especially on ICU beds.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the government is not pleased with the slow drop in coronavirus infections and the high number of intubations, and called for strict adherence to the health rules this holiday season and asked the public to keep gatherings to a minimum.

“Christmas with our family, at most with one more, a maximum of nine people. These are the rules we must follow to protect ourselves and the people we love,” he said during a television interview with Alpha channel on Monday. 

Health authorities on Monday announced 1,251 new SARS-CoV-2 infections, raising the overall count to 116,721. Another 89 deaths were reported, bringing the total toll to 3,092. Six-hundred patients remained intubated in ICUs.