ATHENS – While the number of cases, patients in intensive care units and fatalities from COVID-19 continues to show a decline, health officals are advising that the retreating third wave could still yet be followed by a fourth wave.
The average rate of daily new Covid-19 infections dropped to 620 the week of June 12 from from 985 the week before and 1,500 at the end of May, as the number of intubated patients eased by 150 and and hospital admissions dropped to 739 from 1,433 in the last week of May, official figures show.
“We are in a steady de-escalation of the third wave. We expect a further de-escalation over the coming weeks thanks to the expansion of vaccinations in combination with health safety protocols,” Athens University epidemiologist Dimitrios Paraskevis told Kathimerini.
He said that at the current rate the number of patients on ventilators will fall below 200 by the end of June and deaths in the single digits in another sign that an accelerating vaccination program is working.
But he said there are still so many people who refuse to be inoculated that – while the government mulls making shots mandatory – that COVID could return in the fall ahead of flu season in October.
The assistant professor estimates that, at present rates, the number of intubated
“This will mainly concern unvaccinated people, though it will also depend on the prevalence of variants and their ability to infect people who already have immunity,” he said.
That caveat was similar to a risk assessment report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which advises that “decisions to ease measures need to be highly sensitive to the local context and include considerations about the current viral circulation, the prevalence of (variants of concern) and the vaccination status.”