Gennimata: We need a different model for reopening with safety

Opposition Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata on Wednesday called for a “different model” for safely reopening the economy, one which “takes into account the real picture of every region’s epidemiological map and does not impose general and horizontal measures that are imposed everywhere.” She also emphasised that the anticipation of a vaccine “must not inactivate us.”

Given that the virus will probably continue arriving in waves, based on the scientific data, Gennimata warned of a real danger “of the country opening and closing with horizontal measures over the next months” with all the negative repercussions this entailed.

She instead proposed a series of mandatory measures applying throughout the country including the mandatory use of face masks everywhere, a nationwide curfew between 24:00 to 05:00 and retaining present levels of teleworking. Secondly, in area with a heavy epidemiological burden, she called for stricter measures and effective surveillance, with a restriction of movements to and from areas with high infection rates.

In other areas, Gennimata also urged large-scale baseline testing to more precisely estimate the epidemiological burden in each region and, using the data from an efficient track and trace process, to gradually and safely reopen regions with low infection rates, while repeating mass testing every 20 days to re-evaluate the epidemiological data.

KINAL’s leader also called for the regular testing of staff in all health and welfare facilities, including retirement homes and facilities hosting migrants and refugees, as well as teachers, police officers and those working on the front line, and especially the vulnerable groups.

“If we finally move quickly and in an organised way, entire regions will soon be able to gradually recover their economic operation with health safety and the entire country can get a head start on the virus,” she said.