Sotiris Tsiodras, the epidemiologist in charge of Greece’s management of the coronavirus crisis, said on Tuesday that had Greece not locked down and imposed other restrictions on society, instead of only 173, there would have been many thousands of people dead throughout the country.
Citing studies, Tsiodras stressed that if Greece had not taken the timely measures that it did, the country would be mourning up to 13,685 deaths, while in the most optimistic scenario, the number of fatalities would have reached 7,065.
“We withstood the first phase and limited the spread of coronavirus,” Tsiodras said, in an emotional farewell to the press and the nation on Tuesday. “I will now return to my students and patients,” he said, expressing the hope that his daily updates on the coronavirus would not be required again.
Directing the depth of his feelings to the nation, Tsiodras said, “I hold your love and your wishes,” noting his satisfaction at the very low rates of coronavirus infections nationwide.
“Four months later we return to normality. I also want to gradually return to my duties,” said Tsiodras, whose clear, expert advice turned him into a household name and the most popular person in Greece, according to a recent poll.
“I repeated many times what is the only certainty in science: The uncertainty. The honesty of saying ‘I don’t know,’” he said. “In our country, despite the losses, the enemy has not had the last word.”
An update of the nation’s COVID-19 regulations will be announced on May 31, Tsiodras added.
In his last daily briefing, the physician confirmed a total of ten new coronavirus cases and one new death in the last 24 hours.
He added that the median age of fatalities is 76 years. Only eighteen patients nationwide remain in intensive care units (ICU), with 101 people having already been discharged from ICUs.
Tsiodras also said that 160,991 coronavirus tests have so far been carried out throughout Greece.