As horizontal restrictions on public movement in Attica and other parts of the country fail to stem coronavirus transmission and hospital infections to the desired degree, health experts on Tuesday said that the management of the pandemic may lie in “smart solutions.”
“We have a lockdown right now, but you can’t tell,” Athanasios Skoutelis, an infectious disease doctor and a member of the expert committee advising the Greek government told state broadcaster ERT on Tuesday.
“We need to consider smart solutions,” he said, expressing concerns about the upcoming holidays of “Smoky” Thursday and Clean Monday, both big events on the Greek Orthodox calendar that are associated with large gatherings of friends and family around a table.
His comments echoed those of fellow committee member, emergency medicine expert Theodoros Vassilakopoulos, who also told Antenna television that policy should move away from horizontal lockdowns to a “mix” of more carefully targeted measures.
He said there are several reasons being explored as contributing to the failure of the lockdowns to bring the desired results, not least of which is public frustration with restrictions and efforts to circumvent them.
“This is why we need to a explore a new mix of measures that will relieve citizens’ fatigue,” he said.
Vassilakopoulos added that while the numbers over the past few days – pointing to a rise an infections, hospitalizations and intubations – are alarming, they are still better than they were in November, when ventilated patients surpassed 600, compared with the current level of under 300.
“The problem is most acute in Attica, but the rest of Greece is doing better,” he said, indicating that new measures may be considered for the capital.