For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Greece has confirmed a triple-digit number of deaths for the 24 hours to Saturday.

The record daily death toll of 108, is also notable considering the proportionate ‘jump’ from 72 on Friday, with the total number of people lost due to COVID-19 now exceeding 1,500.

Lockdown measures are in full force for a second week across the country, but daily cases continue well in the thousands.

On Saturday, Greece confirmed another 2,311 new COVID-19 patients, down from 2,851 and 3,227 on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Thessaloniki is the largest hotspot accounting for 606 of the total new cases, compared to 382 recorded in the Attica region.

Meanwhile, health experts say the exponential increase in deaths is of particular concern although expected, considering the rise in both cases and hospitalisations.

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As of latest available data, 522 patients are currently on ventilators, with a median age of 65 years and the vast majority – 82.4% – presenting an underlying condition or aged over 70. So far, 460 have been discharged from ICUs.

A number of Greek online media outlets have been speaking of a ‘tragedy’ unfolding, as they cite the daily reports of EODY over the past week, noting a steady increase of patients in ventilators.

According to Mina Gaga, former President of the European Respiratory Society and head of the 7th pulmonary department of ‘Sotiria’ General hospital in Athens, residents in the capital should be extra cautious.

“If we don’t take it seriously we could become the next Thessaloniki or even worse, Italy. We need to maintain the lockdown in its strictest possible form,” Ms Gaga told Greek TV channel SKAI.

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