NEWS

Officials hold emergency meeting on virus, expert says hard lockdown on the table

Officials hold emergency meeting on virus, expert says hard lockdown on the table

Greek health officials were on Monday holding an emergency meeting to discuss ways of combating a possible third wave of the coronavirus.

The meeting, held via teleconference, took place a day after authorities confirmed the first detection of the South African variant of coronavirus in Greece. The variant is believed to be more contagious than the original type and it was detected in a 36-year-old deacon in a suburb of the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

There have also been 173 cases of people affected with the more contagious and more virulent UK strain, authorities said Sunday.

Authorities on Sunday announced 484 new coronavirus infections and 17 deaths.

In response to health experts’ recommendations, the government announced a tightening of measures on Friday in the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus, which entails restrictions on retail trade and movement in so-called red areas with a high viral load.

Speaking on Skai radio on Monday, Dr Nikos Sypsas, a professor of medicine at the University of Athens who sits on the expert committee advising the government on the pandemic, did not rule out the possibility of a hard lockdown to flatten Covid-19 case growth.