ATHENS - Clear and decisive answers to persistent press questions about the time of the gradual lifting of restrictive measures against the coronavirus are still pending, said the Health Ministry’s coronavirus spokesman and infectious diseases professor Sotiris Tsiodras on Wednesday evening.
Speaking at the televised briefing on the latest facts and figures, he said that lifting restrictive measures in Greece "must occur at the right time," and he added that the country's health authorities intend to continue to monitor the disease. With elderly people often living under the same roof and looking after young children in Greek families, Tsiodras said, reopening schools "is a very serious decision."
Tsiodras also referred to a scientific team from Harvard University, which developed a mathematical model to monitor the course of the virus based on outbreaks of other forms of coronavirus. The model estimates that there will be new epidemics of the virus "in the coming winters" after the severe initial wave experienced by most countries. The professor highlighted the need "for constant vigilance and monitoring of the virus for at least the next two years."
Referring to efforts to produce effective medicines and vaccines against the novel virus, he said that more than 70 vaccines are in the development phase, but only one of these vaccines is in phase 2 of live testing. "We are at least 12 months away from an effective vaccine," he said, citing World Health Organization estimates.
Concerning daily statistics, Tsiodras announced 22 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Greece in the last 24 hours, and one new death.
The Covid-19 infections total in Greece stands at 2,192, of whom 559 were infected abroad and 899 in Greece.
Deaths total 102 since the start of the outbreak, of whom 28 were women. Of the 102, an 89.2 pct had underlying health issues or their average age was 70 or over.
Some 72 patients are being treated in Intensive Care Units. The average age of these patients is 68 years, and 15 of these are women. Most ICU patients have underlying health issues or are at least 70 years of age. A total of 29 people have so far been discharged from ICUs.
A total of 50,771 Covid-19 diagnostic tests have been carried out in Greece since the start of the outbreak.