ATHENS – The Health Ministry’s coronavirus spokesman and infectious diseases professor Sotiris Tsiodras on Thursday evening quelled uncertainties about the reopening of schools and explained that the decision was taken because children seem to get less ill than adults and do not transmit the virus as easily as adults.
He said that 14 countries in Europe had taken a similar decision, except for Spain and Italy, which will reopen schools again in September. He stressed that "the lifting of measures was experimental and continues to be experimental," depending on day to day developments and updated information about the virus.
He also reiterated that the use of face masks in enclosed spaces and especially in public transport was considered obligatory because citizens will have to transition, as he said, from the quarantine's isolation to the polar opposite of moving freely and without restrictions.
Referring to the criteria by which only a 10 pct of shops will open on Monday, he said that the criterion for this decision was not which type of shops will open but the mere overall number of them, as "we did not want a huge number of employees to come in contact with thousands of citizens."
On the molecular screening of citizens for Covid-19, he said that this test will be carried out on the most vulnerable segments of the population, including older people with underlying health issues, health care workers, refugees and prisoners among several others.
The professor also announced 15 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 2,591. Of these, 591 were infected abroad, and 1,286 from cases traced in Greece.
Fatalities stand at 140 since the start of the outbreak; 37 of them were women. Of the 140, a 92 pct had underlying health issues and/or their average age was 70 years or more. The average age of all the deceased was 74 years of age.
Some 38 patients are being treated in Intensive Care Units and 10 of these are women. An 87 pct of ICU patients have underlying health issues and/or are over 70 years of age.
A total of 74 people have so far been discharged from ICUs and 428 from hospitals, while another 946 with symptoms have recovered at home.
Some 75,170 Covid-19 diagnostic tests have been carried out in Greece since the start of the outbreak.