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“Massive testing and confinement are Compulsory”

Covid 19 hit Greece beginning of march, can you give us a quick update about the Situation. ?

On 12 march our government already took protective measures, we  had 117 cases and unfortunately 1 death. Immediate shutdowns of schools, bars, archeological sites and soon after leisure facilities and hotels. Travelers coming from risky countries were automatically quartered in quarantine and in case the rules weren’t respected a 5000 € was associated. The prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, advised by the professor Tsiodras, set-up a real quick and efficient defence policy, more or less similar to what we can see in France in the cities of Nice or Marseille. Also we witnessed what happened in Italy : if we respond too late, the consequences are disastrous. Therefor we anticipated in order to contain the spread as much as possible. Stay Home Save Lives Save National Health System.

In the following diagram countries with same population but different protective measurements and Covid -19 cases from february 26  to April 5, confirms that social distancing is the best treatment at the moment.

What is your opinion regarding the South Corean case study, and the efficiency of mask and test to slow down the spread ?

Having a precise picture of the situation is paramount. When you know that over 60% of the cases are asymptomatic but contagious, massive testing and confinement are compulsory. These measures slow down the spread and pinpoint the infectious outbreaks. Masks are a good tool as well. Better with than without them. They need to be sorted out because they don’t all procure the same level of protection. We must also educate our citizens to adopt the proper habits such as frequent hand washing and social distancing. These habits will take time to pick-up. For the people that are infected they must be compulsory. We campain thoroughly in that direction. In Greece some newspapers integrate free masks to help equip the population.

What is your opinion regarding Dr Raoult’s research and protocol using Chloroquine and Azythromicine ?

In Greece we ordered 5 tons of chloroquine at the very beginning of the pandemic. It is used today in hospitals and at home for the people. As for every treatment there are contraindications that must be followed : Medical history of the patient ,an electrocardiogram doubled with a potassium level check is included in  the proper protocol. Patients are followed and treated at home and we have excellent results. Professor Raoults’ works give us much hope in the battle against the covid-19. The Sermo study shoes that over all 6200 doctors worldwide consider chloroquine to be the most efficient treatment against this pandemic, out of 15 drug options HCQ voted the most effective treatment.

Do you think this pandemic will become a seasonal threat ?

This virus is brand new. We need to gather more data about it but we must prepare for a long term struggle. Just as professor Raoult says, prevention by tests and masks associated with a treatment as soon as the sickness outbreaks are our best options. Tomorrow we will hopefully  have a vaccine and then the chapter will be much different.

What about nutrition ? Does it impact teh strengh of our immuno system ?

The reinforcement of the immune system is a good thing to face this virus. A study made by teams in the city of Torino observes a low rate of vitamin D for infected patients. 

Such as vitamin D, vitamins C and A are important. A good diet provides good immunity, it’s an asset.

What would be your advise to all the people exposed to this virus ?

First of all, keep calm and stay home. This social isolation is necessary at the moment to flattening curve ,Avoid useless contact. Get tested and take the treatment that we advise in case of need. In this race against time, that is how you will all slow down the pandemic and allow our doctors and medical staff to gain time to treat you all and eventually find a vaccine.

Last but not least, we have a thought for all those patients who suffer and all the medical staffs of all the countries that make a wonderful job for the greater good.

All these changes in our lives are significant, but they also reveal beautiful things as well : mutual assistance and sharing.

Konstantinos Nikitidis MD