NEWS

Third tough lockdown not unlikely but not ‘imminent,’ says health expert

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One of the experts sitting on the government’s committee of health advisers on Tuesday said that a third, tough lockdown similar to March and November cannot be ruled out, but added that the likelihood remains somewhat distant given the current epidemiological picture.

“It is not something that is imminent,” microbiology professor Alkiviadis Vatopoulos told Skai television, as the Health Ministry’s daily bulletin on the course of the virus has shown new infections, intubations and deaths easing over the past couple of weeks, albeit at a slower pace than the authorities would like.

With less than 500 new infections a day and the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care at under 300, the data show that the virus is being contained, Vatopoulos indicated, though he warned that a new, more transmissible, variant of the coronavirus that emerged in the United Kingdom recently and has already been traced in Greece and other European countries could change that picture if it continues to spread.

The new variant, he added, makes the task of maintaining the “fine balance” between the reopening of the economy and schools, and continued suppression of the virus, “that much tougher.”