As Greece enters its third week in lockdown, the first glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel has appeared, according to government spokesman Stelios Petsas, who told reporters on Monday that it is up to the people to remain responsible.
“It’s up to us if we are to enjoy the first results in May of our responsible attitude by staying home in April,” he told reporters Monday.
In response to a question from Kathimerini as to when the curve of the spread of Covid-19 will start to follow a downward trend, Petsas said that “we are fighting to save time, and we hope, with the data that we have at our disposal, that this fight, day by day, is being won – as long as we are not complacent.”
Shortly afterward, the deputy minister of civil protection, Nikos Hardalias, echoed the same sentiment, saying that May may be the month when Greece’s residents start seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
He described April as the most difficult and critical period, adding that “the first weeks of implementation of the measures show that the goal is, day by day, being achieved.”
Despite the guarded optimism, government and health officials are warning against any sign of complacency as that could reverse all the progress made.
A government source likened the situation to that of a runner, who after halfway, does not relax but instead intensifies the effort.
The same source noted that on April 27 – provided that Easter goes by without any reversals and everything stays on course – there will be significant announcements.
There will be no lifting of measures at that time. But there is a chance that a milestone will be announced for the first time.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry announced 20 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the total to 1,755.
In his regular press conference, ministry spokesman and infectious disease expert Sotiris Tsiodras said six more fatalities from Covid-19 were recorded over the past 24 hours, raising the total to 79.
Hardalias said at the same press conference that another 90 patients are intubated in intensive care units, while nine people have recovered.
He also announced that the village of Echinos in northern Greece which was placed in lockdown on March 25 will remain in quarantine for one more week for “purely precautionary reasons.”
By the third week of March, nine people from the wider area had tested positive for the new coronavirus.