Experts concerned over spike in infections in Thessaloniki



Experts warn that there is "growing concern" over community transmission of coronavirus in Greece, especially in large urban centres like Thessaloniki.

The National Public Health Organization in Greece announced 152 new coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour reporting period, of which 43 are located in Thessaloniki and 26 in Attica.

22 of the new cases also relate to checks at the entry points of the country.

This raises the total number of cases to 5,421.

1,405 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 2,645 are related to an already known case.

Seventeen individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 63 years, while a 70.6% has an underlying health condition or are aged 70 or over.

The country’s pandemic death toll remains at 211. Of these 31.9% were women. The median age of all was 76 years and 95.7% had an underlying condition and/or was aged 70+.

The above data confirms that there has been a relaxation in the observance of the protection measures. Professor of Infectious Diseases, Nikos Sypsas stressed that "the situation is not developing smoothly."

"The reproductive index of the pandemic, the famous RT, the RO, as we used to say, since July 20 has exceeded 1. It is a little over 1. I imagine that in the updated data of the last week it will remain at the same levels," he said.

On his part, Elias Mossialos, Professor in Health Policy and Head of Department at the London School of Economics, after the announcement of the 152 new cases pointed out that the real number of cases is likely to be much higher (by 8-10 times)."

It is recalled earlier this week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed “We must reactivate ournational vaccine, which is nothing more than our ‘philotimo’and together we must follow the measures indicated by the experts and I am sure that if we do we will emerge victorious from this difficult battle as well.”

On Thursday Greece’s Civil Protections Authority also imposed a series ofrestrictive measures on the island of Poros.

Meanwhile, the Greek Police on Friday conducted 14,877 checks and inspections against the spread of the coronavirus and handed out 150 fines to 404 individuals for the non-use of face mask or keeping the necessary distance.

It is noted the since August 1, a total of 2,042 violations have been confirmed in Greece with an equal number of 150-euro fines. In the same time, 57 shops were shut down across the country.