ATHENS – A total of 17 Central and East European countries and China (China-CEEC) held a teleconference to share information on coronavirus and be updated by the Asian country on new information to fight the pandemic, which began in the Asian country.
The Greek Ministry of Health was represented by National Public Health Organization (EODY) official Elena Maltezou-Petrou, who is head of EODY’s Epidemiology Observation and Intervention Department for Infectious Diseases.
Chinese scientists on the call said that people vulnerable to infection include those with high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma. The virus, they said, is more contagious when the symptoms start to appear, possibly even 48 hours before. In some cases, the disease continues to be contagious even after the carrier is healed. CEEC countries were also told of positive findings, such as that pregnant women were not more susceptible to the virus compared to their age group overall, and said that the majority of infected patients could be healed. The main symptoms of coronavirus leading to COVID-19 illness are fever, a dry cough and the onset of inexplicable fatigue.
Besides special measures introduced by the Chinese government, the Chinese scientists revealed that the basic factors of containment were personal hygiene and keeping a safe distance between people. They also said that China had begun to examine the repercussion of the virus on the environment.
The key to managing COVID-19 is a strong political commitment, China’s National Health Committee representative Z. Yang told CEEC countries.
China will continue to share its findings related to coronavirus and the protocols it creates to fight it, Chinese Foreign Ministry representative Wang Lutong said, adding that the government had also sent a team of experts and pharmaceuticals to Italy for support.
Meanwhile, Chinese embassy representatives in Athens said they had been in touch with Greek authorities before the first official cases were confirmed in Greece, while all Chinese nationals returning to Greece from China were strongly advised to remain at home for two weeks. All visitors from China on Chinese airlines at the international airport of Athens are presented with directives to follow, and the Chinese community is on alert as well, the embassy said.