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Rising COVID-19 Cases Bring Talk of New Greek Lockdown

ATHENS – Being spread by anti-vaxxers refusing protection, rising COVID-19 cases could mean another lockdown that the New Democracy government ruled out in a bid to favor the economy.

The warning came from  Alkiviadis Vatopoulos, a microbiologist from the University of West Attica and a member of the government’s advisory committee, who told SKAI of the idea of a lockdown: “Never say never.”

He said it’s certain that there will be a fourth wave of the virus and likely a fifth and that, “the only question is how big these will be,” adding that the answer “will depend on social attitudes.”

That was in reference to anti-vaxxers being allowed to spread the deadly virus and not required by the government to be inoculated after officials essentially admitted that restoring the economy is more important than saving lives.

The country’s “epidemiological burden has increased significantly” by 28 percent in October, said another member of the advisory panel,  Vana Papaevangelou, a Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Athens University, the average number of cases is 2,872 per day and that the positivity rate had increased to 1.35%.

Speaking during the daily briefing on the course of the pandemic, she said there’s special worry about northern Greece, where there has been a significant increase in cases and vaccination coverage remains low.

That includes Thessaloniki, a voting stronghold of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ Conservative government which has been reluctant to make vaccinations mandatory despite constant warning bells about the pandemic.

She said the majority of patients in covid ICUs in northern Greece are unvaccinated and the occupancy rate exceeds 90 percent and where hospital admissions are up 30 percent, an average of 200 patients daily.

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