Greek Scientists Expect Second Wave as Coronavirus Cases Spike Among Younger Generation
Greek scientists warn that the country is now facing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as cases have spiked in August, especially among those in the younger generation.
On Wednesday there were 262 new infections detected across the country, representing a new record high number of cases. The total number of cases diagnosed throughout the country, including all those who have recovered from the virus, is now 6,177, 54.8% of which are men.
A total of 1,528, or 24.7%, of these cases are believed to have been contracted from foreign travel; 3,002, or 48.6%, are known to be related to an already-registered case.
Greece was praised throughout the world for its effective response to the pandemic back in the Spring when the country took immediate measures to stem the spread of the virus.
But the upward trend of new cases, as shown with the red line on the diagram above, and the rising number of intubated patients in intensive care units has alarmed scientists. Their number, now at 26, has doubled over the past week and nearly quadrupled since the beginning of August.
Average age of cases declines
The new data show another worrying trend: The average age of Covid-19 victims is constantly declining.
Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias noted earlier in the week that the average age of those who became ill in August has now dropped to 36 years. This happened because younger people think they are “invulnerable,” and are failing to adhere to the safety precautions, he noted.
Epidemiologists stress the danger of the transmission of the virus to younger age groups.
“We have a multiplication of cases throughout Greece, we have almost a doubling of cases in Athens and Thessaloniki, we have a lower average age of people who are now infected with the coronavirus,” Professor Nikos Sypsas, a leading authority on the pandemic said on Wednesday.
“We are very close to the second wave, if not in it, and the only thing that is relatively comforting is that the number of intubations is relatively low, but if the cases continue to increase at such a rapid rate, the number will increase,” he added.
Athanasios Tsakris, director of the Laboratory of Microbiology of the Medical School of the University of Athens, raised the alarm on Wednesday about the changing profile of the epidemic.
“The age group between 20 and 40 is the one leading this phase of the epidemic. It is very easy for younger people to transmit the infection. We should not forget that younger people are predominantly asymptomatic carriers, so it is likely that we will see the spread of the epidemic,” he told ANT1 news channel.
Kikilias urges young people — almost on a daily basis — to take the danger very seriously.
“I call once again on the youth and the citizens who do not observe the basic measures of personal protection, masks, hygiene rules, safety distances, to consider their responsibilities towards the vulnerable groups, the rest of our fellow citizens and the country,” the minister said in his most recent appeal. / greekreporter.com
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