Infectious diseases expert warns Greece is "playing with fire"

“The virus is here, waiting for us to slip up,” Professor Nikos Sipsas, an expert in infectious diseases, told Skai TV.

Arrivals through Greece’s northern land borders from countries with a high rate of coronavirus infections and large gatherings at village fetes and bars, are threatening to derail the country’s remarkable progress in containing Covid-19, he warned.

“If this situation continues, I believe it is just a matter of time before we have a sudden spike of dozens or even hundreds of infections after such a super-spreader event,” Professor Nikos Sipsas said. “We are playing with fire.”

The professor pointed to data indicating that of the 450 or so new coronavirus cases reported since Greece opened its borders to foreign tourists last month, 120 could not been traced to travel or a known case, indicating that community transmission continues to be a risk.

Greeks have two choices, the professor said. “One is to have both the pandemic and to wreck the economy, because the economy will be destroyed if the government is forced to take additional measures. The other is to keep the pandemic in check by doing what we have to do as citizens in order to save our economy.”

Meanwhile, Greece recorded 27 new coronavirus cases since Monday, including 14 individuals who entered Greece either by air or by land.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Greece currently stands at 3,589. Of these, 54.7% are men, 868 are linked to travel abroad and 1941 are linked to other known cases.

In addition, one death was recorded since Monday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 193. Of these, 62 were women and their median age was 76 years. The majority (95.9%) had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 and above.