In a televised address on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mitsotakis urged the elderly not to attend Church services, as part of a new batch of measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus to vulnerable populations.
"Our faith is not in question, but our belief in people's health,” he said, adding that religious duties should be carried out “as much as possible from home, to limit large gatherings.”
Mitsotakis described the coronavirus as an “unprecedented public health crisis” which still hasn't hit Greece as hard as other countries.
“But we should have have no illusions: The hardest days are still ahead of us. At this time, any complacency is unacceptable,” he said.
The government's goal to manage the epidemic is to implement measures that will help “spread” any serious cases over time so that patients are able to receive the care they deserve, he added.
Mitsotakis also announced the hiring of 2,000 nurses and doctors on two-year contracts to combat spread of Covid-19, adding that the first group will be in hospitals next week.
He said those hired would remain in the public healthcare system even after the epidemic.
He also announced that the public sector would adopt flexible working hours, video conferencing and working from home.
Discussing the effects on the Greek economy, he said it would “take a hit that was impossible to predict,” and announced measures to mitigate the damage, such as the suspension of VAT and social security contributions for businesses that have suffered economic losses.
The government will also introduce a special leave for parents with children up to 15 years of age which will be partly funded by the state.
Mitsotakis said the government will do whatever it takes and is needed to prevent the spread of the virus but warned that “no measure can substitute for individual responsibility.”