Covid-19 outbreak expected to peak by end of January

COVID-19 Plevris

The peak of the COVID-19 outbreak that began in mid-November is expected to arrive by the end of January. Still, it will not put significant pressure on the national health system, Gikas Magiorkinis, assistant professor of epidemiology at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, told AMNA on Saturday.

He also pointed out that vaccination with the new enhanced vaccine has been underestimated, reflected in the increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations.

According to EODY's December 18-24 epidemiological report, 1,496 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised in regular beds. The number of admissions showed a 37% increase over the average weekly number in the previous four weeks.

It exceeded the number of admissions in the corresponding week of 2022. Intubations showed a slight decrease, while deaths reached 62.

Magiorkinis underlined the observance of protective measures such as using face masks by vulnerable groups.

The recommendation to use a mask "is not horizontal and does not apply to the general population", he pointed out but concerns high-risk groups of people with underlying health issues.

The most recent coronavirus mutation (JN.1 sub-variant of BA.2.86.12), which the WHO has recognised as a sub-variant of epidemiological interest due to its high transmissibility, plays a role in the increase of cases in Greece, where 102 cases have so far been detected, noted the medical expert.

Increased social interactions due to the Christmas holidays and the non-observance of personal protection measures contributed to the spread of the virus in the community, Magiorkinis pointed out.

He also stressed that fewer than 200,000 people in Greece have been vaccinated with the updated coronavirus vaccine.

Wearing face masks and washing one's hands thoroughly are the two common measures of protection, he noted, while staying indoors for five days is the preferred solution for anyone developing symptoms added the medical expert.

READ MORE: Rapid rise in COVID-19 cases – Greek health authorities recommend vaccinations and face masks.

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