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Greek Expert Proposes Movement Based on ID Card Number

ID card number for movement
Shoppers walk on Ermou Street in the center of Athens. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greek professor Charalambos Gogos proposed on Thursday that Greeks should be allowed to leave their homes and go about, depending on the end number of their ID cards.

Those with ID cards ending in odd numbers could be allowed to go out on odd days, and those ending in even numbers the next day, Gogos said.

The proposal, aimed at restricting movement to combat the spread of the coronavirus, is actually already being implemented in Argentina, Colombia and some other Latin American countries.

Speaking to Mega TV, the Greek pathology expert and member of the government’s Covid-19 Committee of Experts, said that it was his own idea, aiming to restrict movement in areas with a high number of infections, such as Attica.

He denied that it was a proposal put before the government or anything that had been discussed by the Committee of Experts.

Spike in cases in Attica

Greek health experts are concerned about the increase in the number in new Covid-19 infections in the past 48 hours, particularly in Attica, saying that this development may halt any plans to further open the economy.

In Attica on Thursday, 313 Covid-19 diagnoses were recorded out of a total of 716 cases throughout Greece.

Gogos said that the increase was expected, given the increased mobility of Athenians after the government reopened stores.

Stricter restrictions

Health authorities are considering stricter restrictions for Attica.

According to infectious disease physician and committee member Nikos Sipsas, these restrictions may include a tougher curfew banning circulation as of 6 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., as is the case now, as well as reintroducing curbside pickup service at retail stores.

The reopening of middle and high schools may also be pushed back one week from February 1, the previously scheduled reopening date.

Speaking on Open TV on Friday morning ahead of announcements expected from the government, Sipsas said the purpose of such measures would be to contain transmission of the virus in the capital before the situation becomes critical.

He noted that occupancy at Attica’s intensive care Covid-19 wards has reached 60% and hospitals admissions are on the rise.

“No one wants Attica to be at the mercy of the pandemic,” he said.

Fear of third wave

At the same time, Pulmonology Professor and vice president of the Greek Pulmonary Society, Nikos Tzanakis, estimated that the actual number of active cases in the country is between 30,000 and 50,000.

Speaking to television station Skai, he said he was concerned that Greece may return to the epidemiological reality of last November if the trend continues, and stressed the need for more testing.

He pointed out that the heavy epidemiological burden is frightening, and if there is a third wave, it will start from a point at which there already is a high number of infections.

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