Professor Sypsas: At all costs we will avoid a general lockdown

The increase number of coronavirus cases in Greece has alarmed the government and scientists, Professor of Infectious Diseases Nikos Sypsas said on Thursday.

Speaking to MEGA‘s main news bulletin, Sypsas said that the three-digit number of cases implies negative developments.

He commented that the spread of the coronavirus is now evident throughout the country, in tourist destinations, especially those chosen by young people, as well as in closed structures, such as nursing homes and hospitality structures.

Greece recorded 204 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

This raises the total number of cases to 6,381.

1,557 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 3,110 are related to an already known case.

“The situation will be particularly critical, with incalculable consequences, when the number of intubated and dead returns to the levels we had during lockdown. This will be a sign that the country is now in the second wave of the virus,” Professor Sypsas continued.

He was adamant however, that a second generalised lockdown will be avoided at all costs.

“A general lockdown will be the ultimate disaster. We will avoid it at all costs. We will take all appropriate measures before we get there,” he stressed, while appealing to all citizens to observe the protection measures against the virus, as “it does not matter to announce new measures every day if the citizens do not observe them.”

Of the 204 new cases, and besides the 12 at entry points, 64 are located in Attica Region, 37 in Thessaloniki Region (5 are related to a nursing home facility), 8 are in the Argolid Region, and 12 were located in the Larissa region. All other areas have mostly between 1 and 2 cases each.

Twenty-two individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 65 years.

The country’s pandemic death toll remains at 221. The median age of all was 77 years and 95.9% had an underlying condition and/or was aged 70+.

On Wednesday, Greece reported its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak in the country.

Regarding the resumption of the sms for movement, Professor Sypsas said “it will possibly happen when we have a big outbreak and it will be done locally.”

Meanwhile, Russia developed the first vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday.

Putin emphasised that the ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine underwent the necessary tests and has proven efficient, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus. He further called it “a very important step for the world.”

The vaccine was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute. One of Putin’s daughters has reportedly already been vaccinated with ‘Sputnik V’, despite clinical trials still continuing.

Mass production is expected to start in September and mass vaccination in October.