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Attica Region Retains High Coronavirus Infection Rate

ATHENS — Greece's viral load remains high despite the fact that the pandemic seems to be stabilizing in some areas, while remaining high in Attica, said professor of pediatric infectious diseases Vana Papaevangelou during Friday's live briefing on the pandemic.

She said the rolling 7-day averages of daily hospital admissions and of new infections stand at 450 and 2,250, respectively. The rate of positive diagnostic tests went up to 6 pct from 4.5 pct, while active infections stand at 20,000 nationwide. There is, however, a marked drop in infections among those aged 75 or over due to vaccinations, she noted.

Some 4,600 patients are being treated in regular Covid-19 wards across the country, of whom 2,500 in Attica alone. In the meantime, hospital admissions are increasing in the regions of Achaia, Thessaloniki and Crete, she added.

One reason the ongoing health restrictions have not brought the desired result in Attica is that it is the country's most densely populated region, she observed. As such, it is hard to contain the coronavirus' dispersal in an urban terrain of that scale; even if new infections were to be contained in Attica, she noted, its health system would stay burdened for another 2-4 weeks.

Concerning fatalities, she said these are not expected to rise significantly over the next few weeks, as fewer citizens over 60 are being admitted to hospitals, and those that are admitted already present a better medical prognosis.

Also speaking at the briefing, epidemiologist Gkikas Magiorkinis said there is currently no indication that pressure on the national health system is subsiding.

The Health Ministry's coronavirus committee member added that at least another two weeks are required for this to start happening, as new infections in Attica alone rose by 15 pct during this week and the Rt factor remains above 1.

Citizens aged 40-64 still lead new infections, followed by those aged 18-39. The coronavirus is dispersing mostly at informal social gatherings where face masks are often not used, therefore meet-ups should take place at open, well-aired spaces.

At this stage in the pandemic, the chances of coming into contact with someone who carries the coronavirus are higher than ever, stressed Magiorkinis.

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