In a televised address, Mitsotakis cited two outstanding factors of concern to health experts, the sudden rise in hospital admissions in Attica, which is home to about 4.5 million people and the mutations of SARS-CoV-1, which appear to disperse at much higher rates.
The measures include a shutdown of retail stores and a return of all school levels to distance learning, with the exception of special education.
Health officials say hospital intensive care units for COVID-19 patients in the greater Athens area are at 71% capacity, up from 62% a week ago.
Health officials reported 1,526 new confirmed infections Tuesday — half in the greater Athens region — and another 20 deaths. The country of 10.5 million has nearly 17,000 total cases and a confirmed death toll surpassing 6,000 people.
Details on the tougher coronavirus restrictions announced by the prime minister on Tuesday evening for Attica will be provided by several ministries starting at noon on Wednesday.
Mitsotakis said that the retail sector would be shut down and all school levels operating in person would return to distance learning in the Attica Region as of Thursday, Feb. 11. The stricter measures – announced after an alarming rise in hospital admissions and high dispersal rates of new SARS-CoV-2 strains in the most populous region of Greece – will be in effect to the end of the month.
Deputy Civil Protection Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias will explain regulations at 12:00 on Wednesday.
Also expected to clarify new measures will be the following officials:
– Secretary General of Commerce & Consumer Protection Panagiotis Staboulidis (Development & Investments Ministry)
– Secretary General of Human Resources of the Public Sector Vivi Charalambogianni (Interior Ministry)
– Secretary General of Labor Anna Stratinaki (Labor & Social Affairs Ministry) and
– National Transparency Authority Director Angelos Binis.
Greece on Tuesday, registered 1,526 new coronavirus cases, of which 9 were identified at the country's entry points, said the National Public Health Organization (EODY).
All cases in Greece total 166,067 of which 6,061 relate to travel from abroad and 52,913 to already confirmed infection cases.
A total of 277 individuals are intubated. Their median age is 70 years, 85.2 pct have an underlying condition or are aged 70 or more and 200 of them are men. Another 1,176 have been discharged from ICUs since the start of the pandemic.
EODY also registered 20 new deaths, bringing coronavirus fatalities to 6,017 in total. The median age of all fatalities was 79 years, 95.6 pct had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or above, and 3,534 were men.