Greece registered a record-breaking 667 new coronavirus cases in 24h

Greece registered a record-breaking 667 new coronavirus diagnoses in a single day, University of Athens professor and Health Ministry committee member Gkikas Magiorkinis said on Tuesday, calling on people aged 18 to 40 to be particularly observant of preventative measures.

In a twice-weekly live briefing, Magiorkinis said there was a definite rising trend in new diagnoses, adding that this was reflected especially notably in Tuesday’s numbers for both Athens (250 of 667 total) and Thessaloniki (125).

Fatalities due to the coronavirus have also increased on average, from around 5 a day to at least 7 or 8 per day, this week. The only number remaining stable is that of intubated patients in hospitals, which ranges over 80 per day, he said.

The epidemiologist appealed to the 18-40 age group to wear facial masks and observe preventative measures, as this age group registers the highest infection rate. In particular, people aged 18 to 39 comprise, in recent days, 60 percent to 70 percent of all new cases, compared to preveious days. The 18-39 group also shows a rise in the positive test results rate, ranging from 10 pct to 20 pct.

He warned that people with O blood type are not immune from the virus, as media reported, while smokers are twice as likely to fall sick from Covid-19 illness, and he appealed to them to abstain from smoking at this time.

Tuesday’s numbers

Of the 667 new confirmed novel coronavirus infections reported on Tuesday, 88 are linked to known clusters and 45 detected at the country’s entry points.

The National Public Health Organization announced that all cases since the pandemic arrived in Greece in late February total 26,469 of whom 3,613 are believed to be related to travel abroad and 10,539 to previously known cases.

A total of 87 people are intubated. Their median age is 66 years, 93.1 pct have an underlying condition or are aged 70 or more, and 27 of them are women.

Another 260 patients have been discharged from ICUs since the pandemic broke out in Greece.

In addition, another 8 deaths were reported on Tuesday, which raises the total number of fatalities to 528, of whom 199 were women. The median age of the deceased was 79 years, and 96.2 pct had an underlying condition and/or were at least 70 years old.

In the geographical distribution breakdown, concentrations went up to 250 in Attica Region and to 125 in Thessaloniki Region. The higher confirmed cases for Tuesday are accounted for by rises in other regions, such as Boeotia (30), Kozani (20), Larissa (16), Ioannina (15), and 10 each in the regions of Kavala, Pella and Serres. Another 39 cases are being traced.

Hardalias on N, NW Greece

Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias urged citizens at Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Kastoria to remain on high alert during the increased coronavirus epidemiological load observed in these areas over the last few days.

At the briefing on Tuesday, he announced that the current situation there will be assessed by the Health Ministry’s coronavirus committee of experts in a meeting to be held at 17:00 on Wednesday.

Regarding the situation in Attica region, where new cases are rising persistently, he described it as “critically stable.” Central Athens is a particularly sensitive and dangerous area for the virus’ dispersal, therefore absolute vigilance in observing all health safety measures there is essential, he added.

The minister will attend two meetings with regional officials about the pandemic over the next two days, at Kastoria on Wednesday and at Thessaloniki on Thursday.

Random tests

Some 29 people tested positive to the novel coronavirus in the 3,017 random tests that were carried out at Syntagma Square in central Athens by the national health agency’s medical team on Tuesday.

Of the 29 cases, 18 are men and 11 women, while the median age of all is 34.8 years.

The National Public Health Organization will continue carrying out random tests in central Athens squares.