CORONAVIRUS

Lockdown extension likely, PM tells cabinet

lockdown-extension-likely-pm-tells-cabinet

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has welcomed progress in Greece’s vaccination rate, however adding that the recent surge in coronavirus cases, particularly in the greater Athens region, will most likely mean that authorities will need to extend the lockdown beyond its nominal expiry date on February 28.

Speaking during a meeting of his conservative cabinet on Wednesday, Mitsotakis commended Greece’s “well-organized” national vaccination program, dubbed “Eleftheria” (Freedom), adding that the country will soon break the 1 million threshold.

The prime minister however warned against complacency, saying that the roll out of the vaccine appeared to be encouraging a lax attitude toward social distancing guidance.

Taking note of the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases reported on Tuesday, Mitsotakis said that the government would have to postpone measures to gradually lift restrictions as of March 1.

Health authorities on Tuesday announced 2,147 new coronavirus cases and 22 fatalities. They said a total of 357 patients remain in intensive care.

Meanwhile, intensive care units at public hospitals are operating at about 80 percent capacity.