ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece's leading scientific advisor warned complacency over the risks of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday after the country reported the highest increase in infections in a day in weeks.
FILE PHOTO: People with face masks are waiting for "The Persians", an ancient Greek drama by Aeschylus, to begin in 472 BC. Chr. Was performed after measures against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were relaxed old epidaurus amphitheater, Greece, July 24, 2020. REUTERS / Costas Baltas
The authorities reported 121 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday after a steady increase in the past 10 days. Tuesday's number was the highest since April 22 and increased the total number of infections in the country to 4,855 since the outbreak began in late February.
A total of 209 deaths were recorded.
Greece introduced an early closure in mid-March that saved the country from the devastating effects of the pandemic in many other European countries. However, the recent increase in infections has prompted the authorities to introduce measures such as mandatory face masks in closed rooms.
Professor Sotiris Tsiodras, who gave his first public briefing after a break of more than two months, said there was no pressure on the public health system, but warned that the situation could get out of control without vigilance.
“A possible increase has to be very vigilant. The situation could quickly get out of control. It takes vigilance and attention from everyone, ”he said.
There were outbreak clusters, he said, in a meat processing unit and two wedding receptions.
A significant number of infections are symptom-free, he said, adding that cases were discovered after Greece reopened its borders in June. But added that an increase between July 31 and August 2 seemed to be home infections.
In the past two months, there has been a “significant shift” towards the virus, which affects younger people. One reason could be that travelers who are usually younger are tested during the tourist season, he said.
Crisis management minister Nikos Hardalias asked young people to implement the security measures.
"Young people can stand up to anything they don't like, and it's time to take responsibility for these efforts," he said.
Reporting by Michele Kambas; Edited by Tom Brown and Emelia Sithole-Matarise
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