New study recommends stricter virus measures in Greece

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A new study conducted Greek and Italian experts, has recommenced more and faster testing as well as stricter social distancing rules, following a recent increase in the number of covid-19 infections in Greece, Ekathimerini reported.

The study which is headed by Professor Dimosthenis Sarigiannis from the Environmental Engineering Laboratory at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, calls for more tests to be conducted on incoming travellers both at Greece’s border crossings and airports. This would weed out asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic virus carriers who may go on to infect local populations.

The report also mentioned other measures that could be introduced to curb the increase of infections which include:

  • postponing the opening of schools, which is scheduled to take place in early September
  • lowering the number of customers allowed into supermarkets and other busy retail stores at any one time
  • limiting the number of attendees at weddings and other events that attract crowds
  • admission to public transport reduced to 50% of capacity

According to the model developed by Sarigiannis and his associates, the recent spike in infections can mainly be attributed to asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers who brought the virus into Greece. They were either returning from a trip abroad or living in affected countries.

The study estimates that some 50-55 carriers entered Greece in the first days after the country opened up to tourism in early July, going on to infect local communities.

The experts estimate that without new restrictions, there could be an even more steady increase through August and September of around 80 new cases a day. If estimations are correct, there could be a total of 11,500 infections by end-September and 260 fatalities.