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Greek-American Scientist Warns COVID-19 Ain’t Over ‘Til it’s Over

He's been a resounding naysayer about the prospects of the COVID-19 pandemic being beaten back soon and now Dr. George Pavlakis is warning against complacency as the numbers are gradually declining in Greece.

A senior investigator and head of the Human Retrovirus Section at the American National Cancer Institute, he told Mega TV that people heading to islands the government wants to make free of the Coronavirus haven't been checked right. “The virus will come back to bite us if we disregard it. Even though we have the standards, the information, we are opening up without abiding by any standards and this is evident all around you,” he said.

He noted that while Greece is touting that it will inoculate all the residents of 85 islands by the end of June, with tourists starting to come, that the Dutch government has put southern Aegean islands back on a watch list.

That means that people who go there must be quarantined when they return home, which is likely to keep them away and put a crimp in their economies just as they were starting to count on summer arrivals.

Pavlakis warned of the risk of large outbreaks at popular holiday destinations and the devastating impact this would have on tourism, places such as Mykonos, Santorini, Zakynthos and Crete.

“I sometimes feel that we’re scratching out our own eyes,” he said, citing the example of Kos, which is expecting at least 120,000 tourists from The Netherlands this summer, the report said.

Asked whether he believes the easing of lockdown restrictions was necessary to give the people “room to breathe,” and many people shunning measures he said that, “The people can breathe when we become Portugal and beat the third wave.”

He said that a third wave in Greece “rose gradually and has lasted a very long time and now it is receding even more gradually and tortuously. We have between 50 and 80 deaths every day. A busload of people is being sacrificed every day,” as the government seeks to bring in tourists and restore near-normal life at some point.

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