The number of coronavirus cases surged today in Greece, as a total of 2,353 cases of the virus were diagnosed across the country on Tuesday alone — the highest number of daily cases recorded in Greece in 2021.
A total of 61,255 tests for Covid-19 were conducted during the past 24 hours, and the positivity rate in the country is now a troubling 3.84%.
Health officials are alarmed at not only the increasing rate of transmission, but also the number of people with the virus who require intubation, which came to 422 on Tuesday — 16 more than those recorded Monday.
This marks the highest amount of intubated patients in the country since early January.
The influx of patients undergoing the intensive treatment, which involves placing a tube down a person’s throat to assist in breathing, has put immense pressure on the country’s hospitals and has left very few hospital beds available for others.
Tragically, 23 people with the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which is seven fewer than those who died with the virus on Monday.
1,159 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Attica alone; 304 in Thessaloniki
Of the 2,353 coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 1,159 were located in Attica alone, home to the city of Athens.
Instances of the virus were particularly high in the center of the city itself, where 318 cases of Covid-19 were identified.
Tests showed that in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 304 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours.
Is Greece’s lockdown working?
The recent increase in transmission of the virus in Greece has come as a surprise to many, as the country has been under national lockdown since November.
Speaking to Greek television broadcaster ERT, epidemiologist Athanasios Skoutelis commented on the country’s current situation, stating “We have a lockdown right now, but you can’t tell.”
Other experts questioned the efficacy of the country’s strict lockdown, arguing that the recent jump in cases is due to citizens breaking rules out of frustration with the measures.
Dr. Theodoros Vassilakopoulos, an expert in emergency medicine, advocated replacing the country’s strict lockdown with focused measures in order to prevent “lockdown fatigue” while speaking with news network ANT1 on Tuesday.
Vassilakopoulos posited that Greeks, exasperated after months of lockdown, have begun to circumvent the anti-virus measures, leading to a spike in cases. “This is why we need to a explore a new mix of measures that will relieve citizens’ fatigue,” he argued.
While current coronavirus statistics in Greece are not ideal, Vassilakopoulos noted that they are still an improvement from November, when the country first entered its second lockdown.
At that time, the number of daily intubations surpassed 600, while they are currently averaging between 300 to 400 each day.
Dr. Vassilakopoulos also stressed that the situation is most dire in Attica, where transmission of the virus continues to expand, suggesting that Greece may apply new restrictions to the capital region alone.
Total 194,582 coronavirus cases in Greece since the start of the pandemic
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 194,582 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, including all those who have recovered from the virus.
Of the cases diagnosed in Greece in the past seven days, just 60 are associated with foreign travel and 2,368 have been linked to contact with a known case.
Of the 422 patients intubated currently, 84.6% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions.
Additionally, a total of 1,364 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The 23 new deaths recorded on Tuesday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 6,557, and 95.7% of those who have passed away with the virus were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.