NEWS

Country bracing for pivotal fortnight

country-bracing-for-pivotal-fortnight

The next 15 days are seen as crucial regarding the course of the pandemic due to its unpredictability as well as the apparently relaxed reaction of the public to the lockdown.

The first two days of the nationwide lockdown reflected what has been described as the public’s pandemic fatigue, given that citizens appear far less prepared to implement restrictive measures compared to the first lockdown earlier in the year.

And it is not just the 1 million text messages that were sent, according to government spokesman Stelios Petsas, on Sunday after 9 p.m. for exercise or to walk pets that are of concern, but the streets of the capital on Monday, which did not appear to the casual observer to be in lockdown, with limited but relatively normal traffic on the streets.

The government’s concern about this spectacle was evident on Monday in the words of Petsas, who urged the public to observe the measures, stressing that the duration of the lockdown, set at three weeks, will depend on the citizens and the implementation of the measures. 

“Once again, our individual responsibility and our collective maturity will be crucial, so that the lockdown remains on the three-week schedule announced,” he said, urging citizens to abide by the measures.

“Let us not constantly look for reasons to bypass them. Let’s stay away from friends and relatives for a while so that in the end we can be together much more,” he added.

The success of the bid to flatten the curve is seen as pivotal to the government, which wants to sacrifice the coming weeks so that the market can function in full swing during the Christmas period to keep a full-on recession at bay. Experts have stressed that Christmas in lockdown would mean a financial disaster that would have an impact for many months in 2021. 

In this context, the government is planning to introduce strict controls to ensure compliance with the measures. 

“The inspections throughout the implementation of the lockdown will be intensive and deviations from the observance of the measures will not be tolerated,” said Petsas, adding that the inspections carried out on Saturday “had the character of informing the citizens about the new measures,” hinting that the same leniency will not continue.