Greece suffering quarantine fatigue

World | 1 Apr 2020 6:46 pm

As Greece enters its third week since restrictive measures were first imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus, there is mounting concern that fatigue is setting in amid signs of people beginning to flout the policies.

Speaking to ANT1 TV, the government spokesman Stelios Petsas said the centre-right administration was now considering placing a time limit on the movement of citizens outdoors, the Guardian reports.

The prospect of allowing people out of their homes only “once or twice [a day] and combining their movements [so that] they are brief” was being mulled, he said.

Currently residents are permitted outdoors for six reasons only: going to a pharmacy or visiting a doctor; buying provisions; going to a bank when electronic transfers are not possible; caring for people in need; attending a funeral wedding or baptism; and short bouts of exercise.

Authorities have to be informed of any prior movement either electronically or by text. Handwritten forms are also allowed as long as individuals carry them with ID cards or passports.

Government officials have been alarmed by the sight of long queues of (mostly elderly) Greeks witnessed outside banks as of yesterday.

In a statement, Wednesday, Greek police said there had been a total of 13,195 violations of the restrictions on movement since March 23 when the full lockdown came into effect with fines [of 150 euro] being handed out accordingly.

On Tuesday, alone, 2,561 violations had been recorded. Since March 12 when shops were ordered to close, there had been 318 violations across the country with 326 arrests, the statement said.

Greece was among the first countries in Europe to enact tough measures against the spread of Covid-19. This morning the Greek theoretical computer scientist Constantinos Daskalakis, who is based in Boston where he teaches at MIT, said he believed the timely measures had helped save “tens of thousands of lives”.

“Without the measures the dead in our country would have soared between the tens of thousands to half a million [figure],” he told the local MEGA TV channel.

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