NEWS

Signs discipline flagging at halfway mark

STAVROS PAPANTONIOU

TAGS: Coronavirus

With the curve of the number of Covid-19 cases remaining at a relatively manageable gradient, the government believes it has reason to be cautiously optimistic that Greece is on course to win the battle if the restrictions in place continue to be observed.

However, this optimism was dampened Tuesday with signs that people are beginning to relax, as suggested by the long bank queues and crowded street markets, sounding the alarm at Maximos Mansion where back-to-back meetings were convened on how to reverse the trend. 

The government’s concerns as to whether people will continue to abide by the measures stem from the fact that the weather is getting warmer, favoring outdoor life and activities, and provincial regions’ rising susceptibility to the virus. 

Regarding the former, Greece has already entered the third week since the implementation of the measures which have radically changed people’s lives. This, coupled with the expected rise in temperatures in April, is inexorably leading to public fatigue, prompting the government to examine new initiatives if necessary. At the same time, the quarantining of villages in Kastoria, as well as Xanthi, suggest that the problem is not solely limited to big urban centers.

What’s more, the government is concerned that the magnitude of the problem is not understood everywhere in the country, and subsequently not everyone is falling in line. This was also apparent as images over the weekend showed scores of people gathered on the main promenade at Thessaloniki, leading the government to partially restrict access to it. 

As regards securing the necessary medical supplies to fight the spread of the virus, another 13.5 million protective masks from China were delivered on Tuesday to Greece – a donation by the Onassis Foundation.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry representative Sotiris Tsiodras on Tuesday announced 82 new cases of the coronavirus, as well as an additional 20 cases involving crew members on a ship anchored off Piraeus, bringing the total to 1,314. Another seven infected people died, Tsiodras said, pushing the death toll 49. 

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced additional restrictive measures in five municipalities in northern Greece. According to these new restrictions, residents of Kastoria, Orestida, Nestorio, Xanthi and Myki are prohibited from leaving their homes, or their municipalities, between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

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