Greece may return to wearing of masks soon due to uptick in cases

COVID-19 masks Mitsotakis

The rise in coronavirus infections over the past three weeks is a matter of concern, and Greek health experts do not rule out the return of masks to the premises, the National Health Organization said at an emergency meeting on Monday morning.

The main factors in the increase in the incidence are increased mobility due to the holiday season and the relaxed attitude of young people aged 18-24 years.

Speaking at an emergency public briefing, Hellenic health organization President Theoklis Zautis, along with epidemiology and preventive medicine experts and Vice President Dimitris Paraskevis, pointed to data showing that the number active cases disease nationwide is currently estimated at 150,000–200,000.

Paraskevis noted that the largest increase in the number of cases is observed in the islands of the Ionian and southern Aegean sea, as well as in Crete and in the Greek capital Athens.

Health experts added that SARS-CoV-2 transmission rate (Rt) is 1.3. This means that every 10 infected people will infect 13. Experts previously predicted that the peak of the summer wave of coronavirus would be reached by mid-July.

Health experts confirmed that hospitalizations and intubations have also increased over the past three weeks, but they added that the public health system has not yet come under undue pressure. Zautis emphasized that hospitalizations in intensive care units per 100,000 population are at a low level.

Speaking about two new sub-variants of the Omicron BA4 and BA5 mutation, he said that more than 50% of infections in the country are associated with it.

EODY management noted that an expert committee advising the government will recommend that masks become mandatory in all enclosed public places such as supermarkets and shops.

Summarizing the briefing

The largest increase in infections over the past 3 weeks is recorded mainly in the age group of 18-24 years.
In other age groups growth is stable.
Over the past 3 weeks, the number of re-infections has increased.
Regions showing the highest growth: Ionian Islands, South Aegean Islands, Crete, Attica.
Tired of 2.5 years of pandemic and restrictions, almost half of Athens public transport passengers do not wear a mask, although it is still mandatory.

We also note that for last two days The number of Covid-related deaths has risen to 26.

Sunday 3 July: 11,629 new confirmed cases, 26 deaths, 98 intubations.

Saturday 2 July: 18,967 new cases, 26 deaths, 97 intubations.