Amid a resurgence of the coronavirus in Attica, the next 48 hours are seen as decisive as the rate of infections, hospital admissions and intubations will determine whether the country is already in the grip of a third wave, necessitating the immediate implementation of new, tougher measures to shield the National Health System from further stresses.
If experts do indeed deem Thursday that the third wave has officially arrived, then all possibilities are on the table.
These could entail the lengthening of the traffic ban, starting at 6 p.m in Attica, with stores closing at 5 p.m. and a re-evaluation of the operation of high schools.
If the epidemiological picture deteriorates even further, there is also the possibility of a universal lockdown either in Attica or even throughout the country, as Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias hinted in comments to ANT1 TV Tuesday.
However, for the time being at least, the worst-case scenario is not on the table, with government spokesman Christos Tarantilis saying that “at this stage there is no indication of a new hard lockdown.” He added however that the situation remains precarious. “The data can change significantly from day to day, they are examined day by day and decisions are made week by week,” he said.
Meanwhile, Thessaloniki, which found itself in the eye of the storm last October and November, is coming under renewed scrutiny as cases shot up Tuesday, as in Athens, by 50%. As a result it is considered an almost certainty that soon, possibly even Wednesday, that Thessaloniki will be redesignated a red zone, with retail returning to click-and-collect mode and senior high school pupils returning to remote learning.
The nationwide daily infection rate soared to 1,261 Tuesday while there were 22 fatalities. The total number of cases is now 158,716, with 5,851 dead.