ATHENS – Going back and forth about being tough and lenient in a second lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Greece, the New Democracy government could make it more restrictive again after easing off.
Two advisors on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ panel of scientific and medical experts said whether the quasi-lockdown will become essentially a third hard lockdown would be known before the end of the first week of February.
Speaking to SKAI TV, Athens University Professor Athanasios Dimopoulos said that he and other committee members are carefully watching epidemiological data that’s showing a rise in cases after stores were allowed to open with conditions.
He said there’s some cautious optimism, however, as before the recent mini-surge that saw cases jump to more than 800 a day that there had been a gradual decline in numbers, including hospital admissions, deaths and people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs.)
“The experts analyze the data over a period of five to seven days. If we see that we have been driven to an increase of cases, preventive measures will have to be taken before we see an impact on hospitals and ICUs,” Dimopoulos said.
There’s also worry about a variant of the Coronavirus that came in from the United Kingdom that began after an anti-lockdown party there as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ignored medical advice for tougher measures.
“We need to keep our eyes peeled,” fellow committee member Charalambos Gogos, an expert in infectious disease, told Antenna TV, adding that “nothing can be excluded” about consideration for stronger measures to be imposed.
He said the committee would meet Jan. 29 to examine the data for the past week, which will determine its recommendations to the government ahead of its planned reopening of secondary schools on Feb. 1.