Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called on the Greeks to be vigilant and respect the current health and safety measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), as confirmed cases continue to rise in the country.
“As the threat to public health flares up again, I invite you to be vigilant without new, general measures throughout the country, but by consistently following those that are already in force,” the PM said addressing the Greek public in national broadcast on Thursday.
According to PM Mitsotakis, the goal of the government is to prevent an aggressive increase in Covid-19 cases in the country without imposing even stricter measures that would lead to a lockdown.
Do we want self-protection or quarantine?
Underlining that the country’s choice is between “self-protection or quarantine”, the prime minister emphasized that having already experienced the consequences of the latter, “we have a duty” to choose the former.
“We know that by freezing all activities, the transmission of the virus will decrease,” he said, reminding however that Greece’s lockdown in the spring came with a great cost to the country’s economy.
“Lockdown means closed businesses and unemployment. Less public revenue and major recession,” he stressed.
The PM appealed to the Greeks not to lower their guard against the coronavirus and to adhere to the current recommendations and measures, which “have been tried and are effective”, referring to maintaining social distances, personal hygiene (regular hand-washing), and, “most importantly”, wearing masks until the cure and the vaccine are found.
“The mask is the vaccine until the vaccine is found… Experts tell us that if a coronavirus patient is close to a healthy citizen and they are both wearing masks, the chance of transmission is extremely small. We must therefore become accustomed to it. And where necessary, the state will impose the obligation of the measure,” he said.
“The coming weeks will determine the coming months and maybe years, so we must be a step ahead of the coronavirus again, instead of behind it – always with targeted measures when needed,” PM Mitsotakis said, underlining that until a vaccine is found, the state will be vigilant, trust the experts, always act with transparency and will inform the people.
“The implementation of even the most effective measure depends on its faithful implementation. Together we will succeed again or together we will miss the opportunity,” the Greek prime minister concluded.
Greek health authorities on Thursday announced 342 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number in the country to 16,627. The death toll in the country has reached 366.