THESSALONIKI – Easing health restrictions to lure more tourists has seen a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, with cases quadrupling in a week to more than 12,000 daily and sewage samples in Thessaloniki showing a high rise.
An analysis by the Aristotle University’s Sewage Epidemiology Team showed such a spike that Greece’s second-largest city’s danger alert for COVID has been put into the high-risk red category.
Health Minister Thanos Plevris, with hordes of tourists arriving, said however that it wasn’t them or pulling back health measures that caused the big jump, but Omicron subvariants to blame, reflecting 90 percent of the viral load.
Health advisors said that after six weeks with a moderate level of the virus in the community that it’s growing again fast, the government saying only it would review health measures in September if needed.
“The increase in the spread of the virus, as we measured it in the sewage in recent weeks and more clearly in recent days, is not negligible… we now have data that put us on alert,” Professor Nikos Papaioannou, the rector of Aristotle University who is responsible for the research project, told the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.