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Society

Health Measure Defiance Spikes COVID-19 in Greek Lockdown Areas

ΑΤΗΕΝS — Scenes of mobs of people, mostly unmasked and not observing safe social distances, in three Greek areas still in an alleged lockdown are bringing worry cases will soar, and anxiety was growing over whether it’s happening in Athens and the surrounding area.

Greece’s second-and-third-largest cities, Thessaloniki in the north and Patra in the west, along with the western region of Achaia could see another surge, the New Democracy government’s panel of doctors and scientists said, reported Kathimerini.

But while they are supposed to be shut down – but really aren’t – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ decision to allow non-essential businesses in the capital, with conditions, to help the economy could backfire if cases jump.

The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) said the three areas accounted for 604 of 3,228 more cases of the Coronavirus across the country, punctuated by photos showing people in mass public gatherings.

The numbers put the infection ratio in Thessaloniki at 39.2 per 100,000 residents, in Kozani at 34.6/100,000 and in Achaia at 37.7/100,000, the paper said, making it unlikely stores there will open as retailers demanded.

Regular wastewater analyses in Thessaloniki, where has become a symbol of defiance of health restrictions that have gone largely unenforced, showed a constant rise in the viral load.

EODY’s report said that the viral load in Thessaloniki’s wastewater rose 30 percent on April 5 and April 6 and 56 percent on a weekly basis between March 29 and April 3, showing the effects of ignoring health protocols.

The retailers in the closed areas screamed they were being treated unfairly because the situation in Athens and the Attica prefecture is just as bad, and there’s worry among health experts they are right, the paper said.

Besides cases rising, so are deaths and the numbers of people in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) which is putting a further strain on the overwhelmed public health system.

EODY said that occupancy at Greece’s hospitals ICU’s was 84 percent and 57.5 percent for COVID-19 wards, while hospital admissions were at 595, jumping from a seven-day average of 522 over that time.

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