A shocking 865 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in the country on Wednesday, along with six deaths in those who had suffered with the virus.
This is by far the highest number of Covid-19 cases recorded in Greece in a one-day period since the start of the pandemic. The previous record, set just this Tuesday, was 667 new cases.
Of the total new cases announced on Wednesday, 82 are linked to known outbreaks across the country, and 44 were identified during testing at Greece’s points of entry.
Attica, home to Greece’s capital city of Athens, has 331 of Wednesday’s 865 cases, and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second most populous city, has 181 cases.
In total, 27,334 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Greece since the beginning of the pandemic, including all those who have recovered from the virus. Of this total, 3,672 are associated with foreign travel and 10,802 with contact with a known case.
There are currently 86 intubated patients in intensive care units around Greece. Their median age is 66, and just 28 are women.
Of the intubated patients, just under 92% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. A total of 265 patients have been discharged from ICUs in the country.
The six new deaths recorded on Wednesday bring the number of total fatalities in the country to 534. Of those who lost their lives after suffering with the virus, just 201 have been women.
The median age of those who passed away with Covid-19 was 79, and 96.3% of them were over the age of 70 or had underlying health issues.
The Role of Young People in the Spread of the Virus
Greek health official and professor at the University of Athens Gkikas Magiorkinis cautioned young people aged 18-39 to be more stringent in following anti-virus measures on Tuesday.
Wearing masks and practicing social distancing are fundamental steps young people can take in slowing the spread of the virus in Greece, according to Magiorkinis.
According to data, this age group made up the largest number, around 60% to 70%, of new cases in Greece on Tuesday, and experts warn that this trend may continue.
New Measures in Northern and Central Greece, “Lockdown” in Kastoria
Greek Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Chardalias announced new emergency anti-virus measures on Wednesday, after a record breaking amount of cases were recorded on the same day.
The measures apply to Northern Greece, which has noted a sharp increase in virus cases recently.
Kastoria, located in north-west Greece, had 113 cases on Tuesday. Chardalias stated that the situation in the city was at a critical moment on Wednesday.
The was was placed under level “red,” meaning that there is a high risk of covid-19 there, and new, more strict measures,that will begin on Friday, were put in place in Kastoria.
The measures, which resemble a local lockdown, are an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in the city.
In “red” areas, residents must wear masks in both outdoor and indoor spaces. Museums, salons, gyms, and restaurants, except for delivery and take-away, are closed.
The number of employees places of work should be reduced, and those that can work from home are to do so.
Schools will either function with a combination of remote and in-person classes, or completely online, depending on the number of students.
The Northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, the second most populous in the country, recorded 125 of Tuesday’s 667 cases, and 181 of Wednesday’s record 865 cases.
Reports of hidden parties in squares, terraces, and basements in the city have added to concern about spread of the virus by young people.
On Wednesday, Chardalias put new measures in place in the city, which has now been designated an “orange” area, or an area with increased risk of covid-19. Serres, located in Northern Greece, also received this designation.
The Central Greek cities of Boeotia and Larisa were also officially labeled “orange” regions on Wednesday.
The “orange” areas, masks are worn in all indoor places of work, including schools, hospitals, places of worship and museums, and in outdoor areas that have crowding, such as bus stops.
Gatherings are limited to nine people, with masks, and only four people can sit together at a table in bars and restaurants, which close at midnight.
These measures will be in effect starting on Friday.