Health expert issues plea to halt mass gatherings, wear face masks

Health expert issues plea to halt mass gatherings, wear face masks

As new confirmed coronavirus infections smashed the 1,000 mark for the first time since the pandemic began in Greece, infectious diseases expert Sotiris Tsiodras called on citizens to avoid mass gatherings and wear face coverings at all times.

The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) announced a record 1,259 new cases on Wednesday, pushing the total number to 32,752. Twelve more patients died from Covid-19, raising the number of fatalities to 593.

“The spread of the coronavirus is impossible to control,” he said in his first televised briefing since August. “Face masks are the only choice we have. We take it off only to eat [when we are with someone else].”

“I want to say, with a clear conscience, that we do not lose hope, we continue to fight as citizens with measures that make our lives easier, that allow social life without the ban [lockdown], which has huge social consequences,” he said. “We want to avoid a lockdown, with its consequences.”

Tsiodras said that people's "personal choice will play an important role" in how the pandemic develops in the country.

In the same briefing, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced that the regions of Ioannina and Serres will enter into lockdown after a riise in infections. He also issued a particular warning for the regions of Thessaloniki and Larisa,noting that the situation is "critical".

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