MIT Professor: Greece’s lockdown saved thousands of lives

Despite signs that more Greeks are breaking a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, MIT theoretical computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis said it saved countless lives.

“Without the measures, the dead in our country would have soared between the tens of thousands to half a million [figure],” he told the local MEGA TV channel.

Daskalakis works on computation theory and its interface with game theory, economics, probability theory, statistics and machine learning.

Qanta magazine called him A Poet of Computation Who Uncovers Distant Truths.

That came as Hong Kong’s The Standard picked up on what it said were Greeks suffering from “quarantine fatigue” and more violating the lockdown that allows visits only to essential trips such as banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, doctors and hospitals.

Speaking to ANT1 TV, the government spokesman Stelios Petsas said the New Democracy government was considering placing a time limit on the movement of citizens outdoors, The Guardian reported.

The prospect of allowing people out of their homes only “once or twice (a day) and combining their movements [so that] they are brief” was being mulled, he said.

Government officials were upset by scenes of long queues of (mostly elderly) Greeks and pensioners lining up outside banks and ATMs in close contact and not abiding recommendations to stay at least 1.5 meters (4.92) feet away from each other.

Greek police said there had been a total of 13,195 violations of the restrictions on movement since March 23 when the full lockdown came into effect with fines of 150 euros ($163.82) being assessed.

On March 30 alone, 2,561 violations had been recorded. Since March 12 when shops were ordered to close, there had been 318 violations across the country with 326 arrests, the statement said.


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