Staying at home during lockdown measures for the coronavirus pandemic does not mean families cannot take a walk outside together, as they are close together at home anyway, the Health Ministry’s spokesman on novel coronavirus Sotiris Tsiodras said on Saturday.
During the daily briefing on the pandemic, Tsiodras encouraged people to go for walks “but not to go out with friends, and avoid places where people congregate”, especially if it concerns older people or those with chronic ailments.
He made special mention of domestic violence, and urged people to find ways to manage it. “It’s better to walk outside and soothe an uncontrollable anger, even if we might get a fine for it, than act out in violence within the family,” he underlined, referring to the strictness of measures.
“We see the restrictive measures working out, and this is a victory we can all share, and this continues to be our victory,” Tsiodras said, but warned that “it’s not the time yet” to relax measures, citing backing by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
He added that it was a personal joy to watch the curve of ICU admissions drop. However, he warned, “We should still think defensively,” as he also reminded people that it takes 15 days on average before any measures can be assessed for effectiveness.
Tsiodras went through the newest statistics on coronavirus, announcing 72 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Greece in the last 24 hours, and 3 new deaths.
The infectious diseases specialist said the Covid-19 infections total in Greece stands at 2,081. Of these, 536 (27,5%) were infected abroad and 796 (38.3%) in Greece.
Deaths total 93 since the start of the outbreak, of whom 90% had underlying health issues or their average age was 70 or over. Of the total, 26 deaths were of women.
Some 75 patients are being treated in Intensive Care Units. The average age of these patients is 67 years, 15 of these are women, while a 77% of all ICU patients have underlying health issues or are at least 70 years of age.
A total of 15 people have so far been discharged from ICUs, a statistic he said was very hopeful.
So far 37,344 diagnostic lab tests for Covid-19 have been carried out nationwide, he noted.
The health task force in Greece is no longer updating the coronavirus on a 24-hour basis, but on a 12-hour basis, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said during a daily briefing on Saturday.
At the daily briefing, Hardalias seconded the call of Health Ministry spokesman on the novel coronavirus Sotiris Tsiodras, who gave the daily statistics, to continue observing the restriction measures until April 27 in order not to dismantle the efforts in Greece to successfully restrict the spread of the virus.
25 cases in Larissa region
Hardalias spoke of the new infection breakout in the Larissa region – which he and Tsiodras visited on Friday – and the lockdowns of the Nea Smyrni Roma community and the nearby refugee facility at Koutsohero. He said that 362 people were tested in the last two days and 25 samples were found positive to coronavirus.
He thanked both communities for observing the restrictions, and the regional government for their support and actions.
In addition, he said that of 214 arrivals in Greece on Friday on 4 flights, all disembarking passengers were tested and only 1 was found to be infected to coronavirus.
As people who returned from abroad are completing their self-isolation required by authorities, the minister said there were nearly 5,500 people still in strict 14-day quarantine.
In terms of keeping the restriction measures, he said the open-air markets were further increased to 222 in Greece, by splitting them into smaller segments, while 4 were suspended for 10 days for not observing distances.
There is no problem with going out with your family for a 30-minute walk, Hardalias said echoing Tsiodras’ directions, but it is unacceptable to get into your car and go somewhere else to exercise.