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COVID-19 Lockdown Easing Sees Athens Viral Loads Spike

ATHENS – In a sign that easing an already lenient and defied COVID-19 lockdown could be backfiring and driving another outbreak, laboratory tests of wastewater in Greece's capital and surrounding area are jumping again.

Theodora Psaltopoulou, Professor of Epidemiology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, told SKAI TV that, “The wastewater indicates that there is a gradual increase, especially in Attica.”

Vangelis Manolopoulos, Professor of Pharmacology at the Democritus University, also on the show, said that, “The numbers are climbing again,” just as the government is set to decide whether to allow travel for the Easter period.

The detailed data will be handed over to the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) and will “probably” be publicized in the coming days, they said, the levels at their highest since the pandemic began early in 2020.

They said that mass gatherings and wild parties in public squares in the capital, that the New Democracy government admitted it's powerless to stop, fearing that a police presence could create a riot, are also driving the increase.

There is a lag of up to two weeks between easing measures or super spreader events showing up in cases, deaths and the number of people needing to be put on ventilators in public hospitals.

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