The current course of the coronavirus pandemic in Greece gives rise to moderate optimism, infectious diseases professor Sotiris Tsiodras said on Friday, speaking at the daily televised update on the outbreak.
As the Health Ministry’s coronavirus spokesman, Tsiodras pointed out that although there is a rather slow increase in infections, “ we may see a decline, yet this is up to us entirely,” as the spread can very rapidly reach the larger population, depending heavily on observing the current restrictive measures with due diligence. He said there is a possibility of progressively lifting the measures when new data is backed up scientifically and allow it.
The professor also mentioned the discovery of an experimental drug by Chinese scientists which introduces some hope in the fight against Covid-19, but recommended patience until the drug’s practical effectiveness becomes more substantiated.
Commenting on research reports claiming possible transmission to humans by infected cats, Tsiodras said “one study reported that cats can also be mildly infected with the virus, but not dogs, chickens, pigs or ducks.” He asserted that “those who have cats need not worry,” as these are laboratory experiments and do not seem to relate to transmission of the virus to humans. He also urged against abandoning pets because of transmission fears.
Tsiodras announced 99 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Greece in the last 24 hours and 6 new deaths, totalling 1,613 cases. Of the cases total, 335 relate to travelling abroad and 563 relate to other confirmed infections.
Six new deaths occurred since Thursday, with deaths totaling 59 since the start of the outbreak. Of those, 49 were men and 10 were women, over 90 pct had underlying health issues or were over 70 years of age.
Some 92 patients are being treated in Intensive Care Units, with 23 of them being women. The average age of ICU patients is 66 years, and more than half of these have underlying health issues.
In addition, he said, 11 patients have so far been discharged from ICUs. Their average age is 66 years, and several had underlying illnesses. Tsiodras took the time to make special mention on Friday of the emergency ambulance service (EKAV) medical, nursing and administrative staff, saying that they have a full job between coronavirus and other emergencies.
He also mentioned his gratitude to ICU doctors, who he said provided high-quality work at all coronavirus reference hospitals. “ Let’s stay home to give ICU doctors time to keep up the good work,” Tsiodras underlined.
Some 22,437 Covid-19 diagnostic lab tests have been carried out in Greece so far.
Patras, Volos coasts
The coastal zones of Patras and Volos will be open restricted hours, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said on Friday, during the daily briefing on the coronavirus pandemic developments.
In Patras, the measures go into effect on Saturday for the next 14 days, he said, in the South Park and the Plage Agias areas. On Monday through Friday they will be off bounds from 14.00 to 08.00 the next morning, and remain shut throughout Saturday and Sunday.
In Volos, the coastal area, another popular promenade with coffee shops, will be off limits as of Monday (April 6) for the next 14 days. Restrictions there will begin at 12.00 noon to 08.00 the next morning daily (Monday-Friday), and shut down entirely on Saturday and Sunday.
Speaking of the ‘Eleftherios Venizelos’ ferry and its passengers and crew of 382, Hardalias announced, 121 were infected by coronavirus, 2 are in hospital and 119 remain on the ship in seclusion for 14 days. Except for the hospitalized, all are in excellent health and asymptomatic.
Of the rest, 261 who are not infected, 31 Greek crew members will remain on the ship as support crew, following their own request and after contacting the ship’s owners. The rest will be tranported to 3 hotels by Friday night and will remain in quarantine for 14 days. The 31 crew will remain in quarantine on the ship for the 14 days along with the infected people, and once the infected people leave the ship they will complete another 14 days on board, to ensure they are not infected, he said.
“Every day we prove that we have a goal and a plan. Our goal is to win this battle and this war, and break the cycle of the virus’s transmission,” Hardalias said. “A goal without a plan is simply a wish,” he added, and the plan is to stay home.