Greek doctor and researcher Giorgos Pavlakis expressed his concern over a possible jump in cases after Easter on the Greek television network MEGA on Sunday.
He stressed that the timeline of the country’s planned re-opening, in which restaurants and cafes, along with schools, will operate again after Easter, with tourism following shortly after, could lead to a sizeable increase in cases.
“Greece can’t stay closed forever, we all understand that. Easter, by itself, is a difficult time for restrictions, and together with the re-opening of the retail sector, the service industry, and schools, it could become an explosive mix,” Pavlakis stated.
He continued that the current covid-19 numbers are still elevated in Greece, and that, due to the decision to open the country, there will certainly be “victims” of the virus, and Greece must focus on simply “reducing the number of victims” through anti-virus measures.
Experts fear that Easter gatherings could lead to increase in cases
Other scientists have also urged the Greek public to remain cautious during the Easter period, as many may chose to gather at homes across the country to celebrate the holiday.
Theodoros Vasilakopoulos, Greek Professor of Pulmonology, expressed his belief that Greece would face a wave of new cases after Easter due to gatherings between family and friends on the Greek television network SKAI on Sunday.
He stressed that the vaccine, no matter which type, is the only way to get out of the pandemic, and urged Greeks not to give into fears about extremely rare side effects from the vaccines:
“The solution is the vaccine, and the best vaccine is the one that’s available. It’s criminal to change our vaccine appointments (because of the maker) hoping to get the ‘good one.’ People should not be scared. People should go out and get vaccinated en masse.”
1,400 cases of Covid-19, 816 intubations, 57 deaths in Greece Sunday
Greece recorded 1,400 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, which marks 1,197 fewer instances of the virus than the 2,597 cases recorded on Saturday.
Additionally, the country recorded 816 patients with Covid-19 on ventilators on Sunday, which is 19 more than the 797 patients undergoing the invasive treatment in the country yesterday, Saturday.
A total of 23,106 coronavirus tests were conducted across the country during the day, bringing the positivity rate to 6.05% in Greece.
Tragically, 75 people suffering from the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period.
676 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Attica alone; 207 in Thessaloniki
Of the 1,400 new coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 676 were located in Attica, home to the Greek capital city of Athens.
Instances of the virus were particularly high in the center of the city itself, where 215 cases of Covid-19 were identified Sunday.
Tests showed that in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 207 cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed in the last 24 hours.
Over 10,000 total deaths with Covid-19 in Greece
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 333,129 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 72 are associated with foreign travel and 3,106 have been linked to contact with a known case.
Of the 816 patients intubated currently, 84.9% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. Their average age is 68.
On Sunday alone, 481 people with the coronavirus were admitted to hospitals in Greece.
Additionally, a total of 2,032 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The 75 new deaths recorded on Sunday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 10,007; 95.5% of those who have passed away with the virus were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.
Indian variant of coronavirus found in Greece
The Indian variant of the coronavirus, or B.1.617, has arrived in Greece, as two cases of the mutation were confirmed in the country in late April.
It’s still unclear whether the variant spreads more quickly or causes more severe cases of the virus than the stand form of Covid-19.
Additionally, it is not yet known how effective vaccines are in preventing the spread of the variant.
The variant was first discovered in India in October. Since then, it has spread globally, mainly in Europe.
Currently, apart from Greece and India, cases of the mutation have been identified in the US, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, and the UK, where 77 cases of the mutation have been recorded.