school children

The recent easing of restrictive measures against the novel coronavirus in Greece so far shows no high dispersal in the community, said Health Ministry spokesperson and infectious diseases expert Professor Sotiris Tsiodras on Tuesday evening.

Furthermore, the virus’ dispersal dropped by 80 pct, “as Greeks showed tremendous compliance during the curfews and lockdowns,” he added.

The pros and cons of children returning to primary schools on June 1, was also discussed at the press briefing. Although there are no definite guarantees that younger children will not be infected with coronavirus in school, they are less likely to do so and even less likely to have severe symptoms, Tsiodras said.

In addition, returning to school improves their mental and emotional state, quells their feelings of anxiety and isolation from being away their friends and prevents internet addiction, he stressed.

Tsiodras also raised the issue of poverty, and of children who came from poorer families without access to a computer, and whose parents could not afford to stay home to take care of them. “There is a hidden inequality in learning and education for children that belong to the poorest families, which is exacerbated at periods when schools are not in operation,” he added.

He also said that if a child stays at home, then a parent needs to know how to handle it. “If it’s in isolation at home, it is obviously safer than (…) playing in the neighbourhood and at city squares, exposing itself to a less safe environment.” Whatever specialists say, the final decision lies with the parents, who know their own child the best, he said.

Meanwhile, another 4 new coronavirus cases but no deaths were officially recorded in Greece in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of infections since the start of the outbreak in the country to 2,840.

So far, of the total infections, 616 are traced to travel abroad and 1,475 to known cases in Greece.

Fatalities since the beginning of the outbreak stand at 165, with 47 of them being women. The average age of the deceased was 75 years and 94 pct had some underlying illness and/or were 70 years of age or more.

A total of 136,001 diagnostic tests for Covid-19 have so far been carried out in Greece.