Greece’s month-long lockdown came into effect on Saturday, as the country recorded another 34 fatalities and 2556 new coronavirus cases, following Thursday’s new daily grim record of almost 3,000 infections.

The latest data bring the total death toll to 749 and the accumulative number of cases to 54, 809, while currently there are 207 patients incubated in the hospital.

Community transmission is widespread in the capital, where COVID-19 sewage testing has revealed alarming findings.

According to an analysis conducted by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, there is an estimated 60-80,000 active virus carriers in the Attica region, representing 1,5 – 2 % of its population.

READ MORE: Greece returns to lockdown as cases climb to 2917, with 29 deaths

First day of lockdown

The first day of the ‘blanket’ lockdown appears to have been met with compliance by the majority of the country’s population, according to Citizen Protection Deputy Minister Lefteris Economou.

Mr Ikonomou said most “have realised the need to abide by the measures” with “minimum traffic recorded and mainly from people meeting the necessary requirements”.

This was not the case however on Friday, the last day before measures took effect, with traffic data from the relevant authority in the Attica region reporting a record number, the biggest since 2007.

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Compared to last year’s Christmas Eve, road traffic was 15% higher, and 35% bigger than an average Friday.

Meanwhile, an anti-lockdown protest in Patra took place on the first day of the enactment of stringent restrictions.

Protesters were met with increased police presence in city centre, and nine people were arrested.

When announcing the countrywide restrictions, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he chose “to take drastic measures sooner rather than later”, with Greece’s top immunologist Sotiris Tsiodras describing the resurgence of the virus since early October “particularly aggressive”.

Greece’s new lockdown includes a shutdown of all retail except essential businesses like supermarkets and pharmacies, an SMS system for venturing outdoors under one of the 6 permitted reasons (accessing essential services, attending a funeral or exercising) and a travel ban between prefectures.

Those flouting the rules face heavy fines ranging from €300 (for not wearing a mask) to even €3,000 for unlawful gatherings.