As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 4,110. Greece’s National Organization for Public Health (EODY) announced on Wednesday one new fatality in the past 24 hours in the country which raised the total number to 201 since the start of the outbreak. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 8, while 125 patients have left the intensive care unit.
Ten of the 33 cases reported involved tourists tested upon arrival. Five imported cases involved patients that presented themselves for testing.
As the number of coronavirus infections in Greece remains on a steady upward curve, and with one in six cases this month reported in Attica, authorities have urged citizens to be extra careful in observing health guidelines to avert the further transmission of the virus. Of the 671 cases that have been reported this month, 108 of them were in Attica. But, although epidemiologists believe the ratio is justifiable as the region is home to nearly half the country’s population and a hub for international visitors, they are keen to ensure that numbers do not spiral. To this end, they are urging people to wear masks, in the proper fashion, and to observe social distancing.
The cases of incoming people from abroad that although they carry the virus, they are traced later, are of great concern. Specifically, based on the data of the National Organization for Public Health (EODY), 76 imported cases have been confirmed, which visited a health structure voluntarily to get tested. This is considered a worrying fact, as these people develop social contacts until they get diagnosed and because most of the time they do not show symptoms, they may have already transmitted the virus. Of course, this does not mean that they have infected many of our fellow citizens or tourists, but the process of traceability is significantly difficult. Also because they are considered imported cases they do not affect the transmissibility index Rt, which is still below 0.5 and is considered one of the best in Europe.
The Greek economy is set to suffer another setback once the government’s Covid-19 lifeline to businesses stops, a new report released this week by research consultants Capital Economics found. More specifically, the study, which is based on Bank of Greece data released on Tuesday, reveals that Greece’s economy may show signs of recovery in the third quarter of the year provided coronavirus cases remain stable and no new lockdown measures are introduced. However, given the nosedive in tourist arrivals and the economy’s reliance on tourism, recovery is expected to be slow and growth is set to contract sharply. Analysts at Capital Economics are expecting the economy to shrink by 8 percent this year.
The report also said that once government support subsidies stop, many companies will be forced to collapse which will in turn lead to more non-performing loans (NPLs), expected to rise by 10 percent accounting for 47 percent of total loans. Lastly, analysts at Capital Economics note that while fiscal support from government measures has hindered a deeper recession, it has also brought debt sustainability into question, with estimates that Greek debt will skyrocket to over 200 percent of GDP this year.