ATHENS – Just to make 2020 worse as it nears a good riddance end, family gatherings in Greece for Christmas and the holidays could be barred if COVID-19 cases, deaths and the numbers of people in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) stay high.
The New Democracy government had set a limit of nine people for get-togethers but that will be reviewed in the run-up to Christmas and could be alerted or scrapped if the pandemic remains uncontrollable.
“The nine-person limit could be revoked if things get worse,” Athens University microbiology professor Alkiviadis Vatopoulos, who sits on the committee of scientists and doctors advising the government told SKAI TV.
“The situation is unpredictable,” he said with a lockdown that began Nov. 7 for a month already extended to at least Jan. 7, 2021 as more lenient measures allowing people to leave their homes as seen the virus still spread.
The number of deaths hit 3,870 on Dec. 16 and was hovering around the 100-a-day mark which, if that continues, could see the grim toll pass 4,000 by the weekend of Dec. 19-20 as public hospitals remain overwhelmed with those on ventilators.
reece’ coronavirus-related deaths dipped to 85 on Wednesday from 98 the day before that, but new infections were still quite high at 1,190, while the number of intubated patients inched up to 552 from Tuesday’s 550.
Total cases were on a path to surpass 130,000 by the same time as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has struggled to try to save lives and the economy at the same time with non-essential businesses set to be closed 17 weeks by year’s end.
Of the virus’ victims, just under 60 percent were men and 95.6 percent had underlying health problems and/or were aged 70 years old or above but more young who had defied wearing masks and staying safe social distances were infected as well.