by Andreas Kokkinos
The arrival of the "Omicron" mutation reportedly coincided with that of the new year, with the daily case numbers announced last week breaking every negative record since the pandemic began.
The announcement from the Ministry of Health regarding New Year's Eve (Friday 31/12) was concerning. According to the announcement, the number of confirmed cases exceeded 5,000, 5,048 to be specific. It was the highest number on record since the pandemic began and members of the scientific team are still anticipating higher numbers in the coming days.
With the current number of hospitalizations being scrutinized - which had already exceeded 200 - and the rapid increase of positive cases, which will obviously result in an increase in admissions, experts are preparing, without delay, to propose new measures in order to stop the spread.
Reduction in the maximum number of people in gatherings
By studying the epidemiological data as well as the reports of the tracking unit it is understood that due to the super-transmissibility of "Omicron" any type of gathering -be it in homes or entertainment venues - will increase the risk of transmission chains. Information gathered by Kathimerini from the Advisory Scientific Committee leads to the possibility that there will be restrictions on the reduction of both the maximum number of people who can be accommodated in premises and/or houses and at the same time the reduction of the number of people seated on one table.
Epiphany Day is being looked into
The upcoming celebrations for Epiphany Day are also under the microscope. Traditionally, the faithful take part in church services while in many parts of the island a cross is thrown into the sea to be fished out by one of several swimmers. In the meantime, large crowds gather to witness the event. As far as this event is concerned, experts are mulling its cancellation, while restrictions on the number of people in churches will most likely be imposed.