Coronavirus deaths jump to daily record in Greece, hospitals pressured


ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece reported 108 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, a daily record, with hospitals in the north of the country under pressure as available intensive care beds filled up from the surge in COVID-19 infections.

After a two-month lockdown in March, which helped contain the spread of infections, a spike since October forced the government to impose a second nationwide lockdown this month that officially expires at the end of the month.

However, this could be in doubt.

"Lifting the lockdown on Dec. 1 does not seem realistic right now," government spokesman Stelios Petsas told state TV ERT on Friday.

The government's committee of experts will evaluate new data next week to assess whether a partial lifting of the lockdown early next month is feasible.

Health authorities reported 2,311 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total since the first case was detected in February to 90,121. The death toll is 1,527.

The case load in Thessaloniki in the north of the country remained nearly double that of Athens.

"The seeming stabilisation of infections in Athens is fragile, the improvement is not sufficient to relieve pressure on the hospital system," infectious disease expert Gikas Magiorkinis told reporters on Friday.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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