Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was upbeat on Friday that the impact of increased social mobility during the holiday season on Greece’s coronavirus statistics would be limited.
“It seems that we managed to overcome the challenge of Christmas and New Year’s Eve without too much turbulence,” Mitsotakis told Parliament on Friday.
He said that the government’s decision to toughen lockdown measures in early January had helped to contain the spread of the virus.
Mitsotakis nevertheless warned the public against dropping their guard against Covid-19, stressing that caution fatigue in other European countries had led to a spike in cases.
He said that the government would raise the fine for violating Covid-19 restrictions from 300 euros to 500 euros.
Thursday’s Health Ministry bulletin on the coronavirus epidemic indicated that new infections appeared to be dropping slowly – coming to 599 from 671 on Wednesday and 866 on Tuesday – though fatalities rose to 33 from 25 and 27 the two previous days, bringing the national Covid-19 death toll to 5,387.
Meanwhile, Epirus in northwestern Greece, the Ionian Islands and the Aegean islands were the only green areas in Europe, according to a revised map published on Thursday by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) charting the spread of the coronavirus.
Referring to the financial impact of the pandemic, Mitsotakis told lawmakers Friday that the cost to the economy of every month in lockdown is estimated at around 3 billion euros.
He said that the declining pressure of Covid-19 on the country’s healthcare system should allow a gradual loosening of restrictions on retail activity as of Monday.