Dr. Nikos Sypsas,a medical professor at the University of Athens, told interviewers on Greece’s television channel ANT1 on Tuesday that new lockdowns, much like the 10-week long regime that was imposed on the country in the Spring, may once again become a fixture of Greek life.
Sypsas, who is one of the experts on the committee tasked with advising the Greek government on coronavirus issues, had this sobering news for those who may have thought that the worst was over or that there is no longer any need to wear masks or socially distance themselves from others.
“Never say never with lockdowns. If necessary, it will be done, if the situation with the pandemic continues, especially in Attica, we will undoubtedly go into the lockdown,” Sypsas cautioned.
He said that localized shutdowns of non-essential businesses and making citizens stay more or less at home all the time, as Greek citizens were compelled to do during the 10-week lockdown that started in March, is the “strongest weapon we have.”
Sypsas warned that “We are just one step before a lockdown,” while adding that, even if this draconian measure were imposed once again, it could be revisited on a biweekly basis.
The majority of cases now, in an extremely concerning trend, are occurring in the Attica region. The situation there is now termed at a “Code Orange.”
The medical professor said that the “situation could deteriorate at any moment,” adding that “We need to act preemptively and preventatively.” He then stated that if the new measures taken this week do not show an improvement in the infection rate, the Greek government will have no other option than to impose another lockdown.
However, he noted that “The lockdowns will be periodical, imposed for two weeks until the epidemic curve starts to flatten and then for another two weeks if necessary.”
The medical professor also reminded viewers that there are rising numbers of intubated individuals in the country, leading those in charge of making coronavirus policy to keep a sharp eye on the numbers of those diagnosed every day.
The capacity of ICU’s around the country is currently running at nearly 70%. The age of those diagnosed, as well as those who are in ICU’s, is falling, causing even more worry among experts.
Some young people are seen as being cavalier regarding the use of facemasks, and continue to party and pay no heed to social distancing, which in some cases has even led to them contracting the disease.
The current trends will be monitored closely over the next 10-14 days to see if the current measures have had the intended effect of curbing the recent upward spike in positive cases.
However, if the panel of experts are displeased with the situation at that time, the country may again face the much more draconian measures taken early in the Spring, which were effective, yet very difficult to live with.
“If the upward trend continues, we may resort to the extreme measure,” Sypsas warned, urging Greek citizens to obey the current social distancing and masking measures for the good of society as a whole.
He noted, however, that there are anti-masker and conspiracy theorists who deny that there is any need to mask and even have stated that the virus is part of a government plan to kill them.
“This is no time to be relaxed. Things are getting serious,” Syspsas said sternly.