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PM: Greece Must Avoid a 3rd Wave of Covid-19 at All Costs

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaking on Alpha TV. Photo source: @primeministergr

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis backed his government’s decision on Monday to continue lockdown measures into the new year stressing the need to avoid a third wave of Covid-19 at all costs.

Speaking on Alpha TV, Mitsotakis admitted that Greece was going through a “difficult second wave, we’ve evaded the first wave, and in any case, we cannot go through a third wave”.

He went on to reiterate that there was no evidence that tourism was to blame for the second wave of the deadly virus.

Mitsotakis referred to the example of other countries that opened to tourism and saw the number of cases skyrocket, something, which he said, did not occur in Greece. He went on to add that popular tourist destinations such as Corfu, Crete, and Rhodes, which welcomed the brunt of travelers this year, have not faced a Covid resurgence.

“On the contrary, areas without tourism such as Drama and Pella have been hit. So there is no link between opening to tourists and a second wave,” he said, adding that had there been a connection between tourism and virus resurgence, it would have been seen in September.

“I think we did well and opened up tourism. Almost all European countries did the same. No country conducted as many tests as we did at entrance gates. And I believe that we have achieved and received some benefit from tourism while protecting the country’s population,” he said.

Backing the decision to open to tourism, the prime minister pointed to the extensive testing of tourism professionals and employees in related sectors.

We saw almost zero cases there. The issue, then, has to do with [virus] spread in the local community mainly, but not only, from entertainment which was then moved to homes. We had some issues in workplaces, in nursing homes and that is why we are seeing a second wave,” he said, stressing that most European countries are in the same predicament. 

Lastly, with regard to northern Greece, which has been hit hard by Covid-19 and hundreds of positive cases daily, Mitsotakis said few tourists visited the area due to closed borders there.

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  1. Peter Dawe Reply

    I am an Australian living in Athens. It seems not many here abide by the law. I walked through a market 2 days ago and I counted 42 persons not wearing their masks correctly or at all. They seem to think under the nose or under the chin is good enough. Even traders who are yelling out about their goods and prices are not wearing masks correctly thereby breathing all over their produce. If one of these traders is infected I would hate to think about the repercussions. The same applies to those who are smoking, drinking coffee or eating while they walk. They must think this makes them safe to walk among others whilst their mask is down so they can smoke, drink or eat. People need to be educated on how to correctly wear a mask in public and what to do if they want to smoke, eat or drink. I would think they should stop walking and isolate themselves on the side of the road or out of foot traffic areas. Enforcement seems to be non-existent as I have never seen anyone stopped and fined since the lockdown started on 3rd Nov 20.
    If this continues we will be in lockdown for a very long time because of selfish, thoughtless and inconsiderate individuals thumbing their nose at the law.

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