Experts fear epidemic surge over next two months, focus on Athens

Experts fear epidemic surge over next two months, focus on Athens

Greece appears to be entering a state of fragile equilibrium over the next couple of months, at least until the vaccination of the most vulnerable groups has significantly progressed, with epidemiologists focused mostly on the capital region.

The state of the epidemic in the Athens area can be compared to that of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city, in the middle of last autumn.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, earlier this week, that Greece may have dealt with the pandemic better than many other countries, but he added “we saw back in November and December that danger lurks at any moment.” He had let it be known that he wouldn't allow the situation to get out of hand because neither the economy nor the health system could handle a surge in new cases. Even with all the restrictions, the economy remains active.

The experts still warn that all decisions about keeping stores and schools open are constantly under review. “If the warning bell rings, we will react promptly. We will not hesitate to close schools again, especially school,” Nikos Sipsas, infectious diseases specialist and Professor at the University of Athens Medical School told Skai TV Saturday.

“If necessary, we will do it next week…The danger of an epidemiological explosion still lurks. Everything can turn upside down from day to day,” he added.

Sipsas said February and March will be “epidemiologically unstable months” with measures changing depending on conditions.

“These two months, we will see decisions revised every day. The [advisory] committee tracks the virus. The virus is beating the drums and we are dancing to its beat,” Sipsas said.

This means that even a total lockdown, as happened during March-May 2020, is not out of the question.

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