September 28, 2022

News Cymru

Two sides to every headline

Corona Virus in Greece – Are Government Measures Still Working?

Almost six months has passed since Greece closed its schools but the world knows a lot more about Coronavirus than it did in March.

Namely

1.Mortality Rate Lower

The virus is not as deadly as we first imagined. Something akin to influenza.

A Stanford University study predicts the mortality rate could be around 0.27%

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20101253v3

However this Stanford caused some controversy

Another test in Mumbai India found a mortality rate of only 0.004%

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53576653

John Hopkins gives mortality rate at around 2-3% for the USA

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map

The Swedish government puts the mortality rate at 0.5-1%.

https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/the-public-health-agency-of-sweden/communicable-disease-control/covid-19/


2.Children Largely Unaffected & Probably Not Infectious

There looks to be no evidence that the virus is transmitted by children

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/18/french-minister-tells-of-risks-of-missing-school-as-more-pupils-return-covid-19

No evidence to show opening schools is connected to rise in cases or that closing schools has an effect on the spread of the virus.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/school-openings-across-globe-suggest-ways-keep-coronavirus-bay-despite-outbreaks

https://www.wired.com/story/some-countries-reopened-schools-what-did-they-learn-about-kids-and-covid/

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-children-do-not-increase-risk-to-adults-they-live-with-new-research-shows-12122573

Transmission location and age https://academic.oup.com/jid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/infdis/jiaa691/5943164


3.Low/No Infectivity from Asymptomatic Carriers

The infectivity of asymptomatic people could be much smaller than we thought originally

https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30250-2/pdf

And asymptomatic people may not be infectious at all

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219423/

Pre-symptomatic transmission unlikely https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3862

And the number of false positives could be the majority of cases but we can’t know because the cycle threshold for the PCR test is not given

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html

Over 35 cycles is extreme https://twitter.com/vegsource/status/1322285840291147776

The findings suggest that asymptomatic and presymptomatic persons do represent a source of potentially transmissible virus. 
https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.32.2001483#html_fulltext

Guidelines for PCR testing
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331501/WHO-COVID-19-laboratory-2020.5-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

CEBM Transmission https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.04.20167932v4

Asymptomatic transmission Wuhan, Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w

Faucci asymptomatic transmission
https://twitter.com/FatEmperor/status/1331022835104485378

Asymptomatic transmission https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32790510/

List of studies on asymptomatic transmission https://twitter.com/ClareCraigPath/status/1336707467233865741


4.Specific Age Groups Affected

People under the age of 60 make up less than 2 percent of the total fatalities in Europe (using Italy/Spain numbers)

https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid?country=~GBR#case-fatality-rate-of-covid-19-by-age


5.No Evidence for Second Wave & Mortality Rate Falling Rapidly

The virus seems to be mutating leading to some front-line doctors in Spain and the UK saying that they do not expect a second wave of the virus.


This map from the Cleveland Fed shows that mortality rate declines extremely quickly

https://www.clevelandfed.org/en/newsroom-and-events/publications/cfed-district-data-briefs/cfddb-20200408-getting-to-accuracy.aspx

The same front line doctors are also saying the mortality rate of the Coronavirus is even lower than it was at the start of the outbreak, supporting the Cleveland Fed numbers above.



6.Effective Treatment May Already Be Available

The is mounting evidence that Hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Azithromycin can be effective treatment for those people at high risk from COVID19.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/peer-reviewed-hydroxychloroquine-study-hospitalizations

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/newly-published-outpatient-study-finds-that-early-use-of-zinc-hydroxychloroquine-and-azithromycin-is-associated-with-less-hospitalizations-and-death-301094237.html

2005 Study SARS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/

https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202007.0025/v1

Less effective

Dexamethasone


7.Lockdowns Prolong The Virus

Greece, like many states in the USA that locked down early, seem to have prolonged the virus.

Countries and states which had no lockdowns (Belarus), limited lockdowns (Sweden) or late lockdowns (UK, New York) have almost see the end of deaths due to COVID19 and there appears little reason for future lockdowns.

Countries and states which were early with their lockdowns (Greece and California for example) are seeing deaths return to pre-lockdown levels.

In short it appears COVID19 will run its course at some point regardless of any lockdown.

Research on influenza has shown reduced exposure to sunlight and fresh air can increase the fatality rate of influenza
“The efficacy of open air treatment has been absolutely proven, and one has only to try it to discover its value.”
THE OPEN AIR TREATMENT OF INFLUENZA.Brooks WA
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4504358/


The Greek Government Response

Despite all the new information available since March, the Greek government’s response still does not focus on protecting those at most risk ie the elderly and unwell. Instead the measure target those at least risk, those who are largely unaffected by COVID19 ie young people and healthy people.

Some examples of the apparent backwards nature of the response.

In certain areas businesses are being closed between midnight and 7am. (The significance of the time of day escapes everybody, including rightly aggrieved tourists)

https://www.ekathimerini.com/256099/article/ekathimerini/news/restrictions-imposed-in-karditsa-pella-pieria

Banning gatherings of more than nine people in Northern Greece’s most popular tourism area and one of the Aegean’s most popular islands

https://www.ekathimerini.com/256058/article/ekathimerini/news/coronavirus-measures-for-mykonos-halkidiki-effectivefriday

Business owners whose livelihood depends on the tourist season are rightly upset

https://www.ekathimerini.com/255915/article/ekathimerini/news/bar-owners-on-greek-island-angry-over-virus-restrictions


A Better Solution?

-Given that limiting contact between persons could prolong the life of the virus.

-Given that the longer the virus is circluating the more chance a vulnerable person will become a vicitim.

-Given that the young are almost entirely unaffected by the COVID19

-Given that asymptomatic people are probably must less infectious than the sick and if they are infectious they transmit much lower volumes of the virus

https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30250-2/pdf

-Given that the elderly and those with existing health problems and much more likely to have complications due to COVID

Surely the answer is to follow Sweden’s lead and let the economy return to normal.

Educate people, give them general guidelines (which are excellent) and let them use their own judgement.

Sweden looks like it has put COVID19 behind it, those most at risk from COVID19 are in a much safer place than before.

Greece on the other hand is in the same or similar place as it was at the start of the pandemic, the most vulnerable still face a similar amount of risk.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/greece/

No one wants anyone to contract COVID19 but the fact is people will contract COVID19.

Surely the best strategy is for those who are fit, healthy and are prepared to take the risk of contracting COVID19 to live normally, to accelerate the process of mutation, to accelerate the build up herd immunity, so that those who are vulnerable to COVID19 or those that want to take extra precautions are safer now and in the future so we can all put COVID19 behind us as quickly as possible and get back to normal life.


COVID19 Information Sources

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