Last-ditch bid to avert Attica lockdown

Last-ditch bid to avert Attica lockdown

As the upward trend in coronavirus infections continues, with the majority of cases concentrated in Attica, the government on Friday announced a raft of new restrictions for the greater Athens area in a bid to contain the outbreak and avert the possible need for a new lockdown. 

During a teleconference on the course of the pandemic with government and health officials on Friday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that new regulations were being imposed to avoid the prospect of measures that would have a heavy economic impact, which neither Greece’s economy nor society are in a position to bear. The important thing is that there is compliance, he said. “If we enforce the measures we have taken, I have no doubt that things will go well.” 

Meanwhile the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) on Friday announced 339 new infections, 164 of which were recorded in the Attica region and 39 at the country’s border entry points. The new cases brought the nationwide total to 14,738 while two new deaths pushed the toll up to 327. The number of intubated Covid-19 patients rose to 71. 

The new measures for Attica, announced Friday by Deputy Minister for Citizens’ Protection Nikos Hardalias, are to come into effect on Monday and remain in place until October 4, when the situation will be reassessed.

The measures include a suspension of all concerts and other cultural events and the closure of indoor cinemas; a cap of nine people for private and public gatherings; a cap of 20 people for weddings, baptisms and funerals; sending 40% of employees in the private and public sector home to work; and staggering arrival hours in the civil service to prevent congestion on mass transportation.

Authorities are also urging individuals aged over 65 years old to limit their outings and interactions with other people to the essential. 

There are also plans to quarantine people belonging to vulnerable groups like the homeless and migrants who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus but are asymptomatic. They will be put up in hotels rented for this purpose, Hardalias said.

Further, authorities are urging owners and managers of private businesses to observe health protocols in view of the fact that just under a third (29 percent) of cases have been linked to workplaces. 

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