NEWS

Greek health official sees possible relaxation of lockdown from mid-May

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The Greek government and health authorities should be in a position to start considering the relaxation of strict lockdown measures intended to contain the coronavirus epidemic as of mid-May, according to a top official.

“We are already analyzing the data and are optimistic. We need to be patient until the end of the month,” the head of the National Organization for Public Health (EODY), Panayiotis Arkoumaneas, told Skai TV on Friday.

Easing restrictions “will depend on the degree of public compliance” Arkoumaneas said, echoing the official government position and adding that “I believe we will be able to start examining which measures to lift by the middle of May.”

The EODY president advised against cultivating “premature expectations,” saying that “I want to hear from the experts and look at our models” before making any definite comments.

He added that EODY is expected to start nationwide epidemiological studies next month, while also testing larger chunks of the population for antibodies to the novel coronavirus.

Greece has one of the slowest rates of infection and death in Europe from the novel coronavirus pandemic, which many experts attribute to the early adoption of social-distancing and lockdown measures.