NEWS

Stricter curfew being mulled for Attica as infections rise

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Health experts on the committee advising the government on its management of the coronavirus crisis are considering stricter restrictions for Attica, as the Greek capital has accounted for roughly half the new – and rising – infections reported across the country over the past several days.

According to Infectious disease physician and committee member Nikos Sipsas, these restrictions may include a tougher curfew banning circulation as of 6 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. as is the case now, as well as reintroducing curbside pickups at retail stores. The reopening of middle and high schools may also be pushed back a week from February 1.

Speaking on Open TV on Friday morning ahead of announcements expected from the government, Sipsas said the purpose of such measures would be to contain transmission of the virus in the capital before the situation becomes critical, noting that occupancy at Attica’s intensive care Covid-19 wards has reached 60% and hospitals admissions are on the rise.

“No one wants Attica to be at the mercy of the pandemic,” he said.

According to Thursday’s daily report from the National Organization for Public Health (EODY), nationwide occupancy at regular Covid-19 wards stood at 19.5% and at ICU wards at 43.5%, with new admissions on that day coming to 135 and discharges at 111.

EODY also reported that 18 patients died on Thursday, while 268 remained on ventilators and 716 new infections were reported, of which 313 were in Attica. On Wednesday, the capital accounted for 405 of the country’s total of 858 new coronavirus cases.

Thursday’s numbers were better than the previous couple of days, but the rise in new cases compared to last week is seen as a sign of transmission having picked up since the reopening of primary schools on January 11 and retail on January 18.