Health experts are warning that heat will not kill off Covid-19 and that Greece should be ready to deal with tourists infected with the deadly virus as the EU has still not decided on whether to make pre-travel screening mandatory.
Infectious disease expert Nikos Sipsas recently told Mega TV that social distancing and hygiene were of primary importance at this time, adding that crowded activities on public transport, at beaches and elsewhere were cause for concern and would inevitably lead to new restrictive measures.
“There is always uncertainty. What people need to know is that high temperatures will not kill the virus. They may restrict its transmission… but the virus is here to stay and we must not forget this,” said Sipsas, also an advisor on Greece’s coronavirus committee.
“Obviously the admission [into the country] of tourists will require a delicate balance. On the one hand, we will definitely have people who are infected coming to Greece. On the other, we cannot stop tourism. We are looking to find the golden mean and at the same time we will monitor the evolution of the pandemic,” Sipsas said.
“The EU has not decided on whether to test tourists before traveling. This said, we need to be prepared for possible incidents,” he added.
His colleague, Haralambos Gogos, also an infectious disease medical doctor, on Thursday told SKAI TV that the islands must be prepared for travelers who may be infected, noting that the larger islands have the facilities to address a potential coronavirus case but adjustments need to be made on the rest of the islands. He underlined the importance of manning the larger medical centers with healthcare workers and ensuring availability of quick testing and of immediate transport options.
Gogos went on to add that the Covid-19 pandemic has not ended in Greece or in the EU but has subsided. “There are still cases of infection so we must be on high alert,” he said.