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Politics

Message to Greeks from Dr. Tsiodras: Wear COVID-19 Masks

September 2, 2020

ATHENS – Greece's top doc for the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Athens infectious diseases Professor Sotiris Tsiodras said in TV briefing that wearing a mask is one of the best ways to prevent being infected.

Tsiodras shot to international fame in the spring for his calm, cool manner in then daily briefings about the Coronavirus, giving the truth about the numbers of cases, fatalities and along with an epidemiological team, urging a lockdown.

Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis ordered the closing of non-essential businesses on March 23, which began being gradually lifted week-by-week starting May 4.

But that also saw Greeks trying to return to pre-COVID-19 life and becoming complacent, not wearing masks nor staying the required safe social distance of at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart from each other.

That also saw cases and deaths spike, the numbers of new infections more than doubling in August and the trend continuing into September even as the government ordered more health protocols and masks in more public places.

Tsiodras said wearing a mask is a “personal lockdown” that can protect the user, along with social distancing and frequent and rigorous hand washing and the ue of hand sanitizers.

He said that 27 percent of the coronavirus cases registered in August were asymptomatic, meaning people displaying no signs they were infected and likely to pass it on.

He added that an equal percentage said they had been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient before testing positive but said he thought that results of vaccine clinical trials will be available by the end of October.

The total has hit 10,524 cases, with 2,112 are linked to travel abroad and 4,710 to an already registered case, with the death count 271, said Kathimerini.

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