Even as hospitals are writhing under the enormous weight of the surge of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic Greek experts are expect yet another surge around Christmas, with an exceptionally high death toll, number of intubated patients, and number of new infections.

With epidemiological indices having stabilised over the last several days, University of Thessaloniki Professor of Environmental Engineering Dimosthenis Sarigiannis has said that right now he expects a new surge on 21 November that will peak in early December.

Projection of over 90 deaths daily

In an interview with SKAI television, Sarigiannis said his projection, based on the models of his environmental and public health engineering team, is that there will be 92 deaths daily somewhere around 17 December, and 700 intubated COVID-19 patients between 8-10 December.

Gourgoulianis: 3,000 more COVID-19 deaths by Christmas

Meanwhile, Konstantinos Gourgoulianis, a professor of pulmonary medicine at the University of Thessaly, where hospitals are operating beyond capacity, has projected that by Christmas 3,000 more patients will have died and the next surge will have receded.

For the government, which is refusing to take more restrictive public health measures, the extreme scenario is to implement a package of measures that will essentially constitute a lockdown on the unvaccinated – nearly 40 percent of the population.

That would reportedly be a last ditch scenario, if the epidemic becomes otherwise unmanageable, which the government for the time being insists it is not even considering.

The move would reportedly be made only if hospitals in Attica, which is home to about 40 percent of the country’s population, reach the breaking point.

Sarigiannis said his projections are based on two conditions – that self-protection measures (masks, social distancing, and personal hygiene) will be faithfully implemented and that there will be massive testing

New Year’s projections

Sarigiannis said that the weekly average number of newly confirmed infections per day is 6,600, and that number could rise to 7,400 if public health measures are enforced, but it could also reach 8,000-8,500 infections daily.

“Unfortunately, that means a lot of deaths,” he said.