ATHENS – Even while cases of COVID-19 gradually are declining, as are deaths, one of the members of a scientific panel advising on health protocols in Greece said a third lockdown isn’t out of the question if there’s a resurgence.
“It is not something that is imminent,” microbiology professor Alkiviadis Vatopoulos told SKAI TV as the Health Ministry’s daily bulletin on the course of the virus has shown new infections, intubations and deaths easing.
That has happened at a slower rate than hoped for as a second more lenient lockdown that began Nov. 7 is technically still on but almost everything has reopened except for bars, restaurants and taverns.
With fewer than 500 new infections a day and the number of patients in intensive care at under 300, the data show the virus is being contained, Vatopoulos indicated.
But also warned a variant found in the United Kingdom with several dozen cases showing in Greece, is the unknown catalyst that could tip the picture and bring tougher measures if it can’t be contained, even with the vaccines.
The new strain, he said, makes it harder to keep a delicate balance between restrictive measures and opening an economy battered by businesses being closed half the previous 10 months.