Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated on Wednesday that the country’s national lockdown, in effect since November, will continue due to a sharp increase in cases, especially in Attica, in the last month.
The country was originally slated to open back up on the first of March, a date that is looking less likely by the day.
Although the increased transmission of the virus in Greece makes for a grim picture, Mitsotakis stressed that there is also good news — the country’s mission to inoculate its population, called “Eleftheria,” or “Freedom,” has been successful.
Soon, the Greek PM noted, there will be over one million people inoculated against Covid-19 in the country with a population of 10.7 million.
Vaccine a new “weapon” in the fight against Covid
Recent figures show that at least 30,000 people have been vaccinated each day in Greece in the last few days, pushing the country toward the goal of a total of 1.5 million people inoculated by the end of March.
Acknowledging the the difficulty that many Greeks are facing as they endure psychological, social, and economic impacts of the months-long lockdown, Mitsotakis encouraged his countrymen to remain positive, citing the vaccine:
“We must remain concentrated on the anti-virus measures, which we know work. I know that all of our fellow citizens are tired, but we have, at this moment, a weapon in our hands that we did not have a few months ago, and this weapon is the vaccine.
“We know very well that we are approaching the end of this great adventure,” Mitsotakis stated.
Total 869 cases diagnosed in Attica alone on Wednesday
Of the 1,913 coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 869 were located in Attica, home to the Greek capital of Athens.
Cases of the virus were particularly high in the city itself, where 235 cases of Covid-19 were identified.
In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 200 cases of Covid-19 were identified in the last 24 hours.
Tragically, 28 people with the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which is six more than those who died with the virus on Tuesday.
Currently, 357 patients with Covid-19 are intubated in Greece, which is the same figure recorded on Tuesday.
Nafplio, Arcadia under strict lockdown measures
Nafplio and its neighboring region of Arcadia, both located in the Peloponnese, will be under strict lockdown measures, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Chardalias announced on Wednesday.
In Nafplio, non-essential businesses will operate on a curbside pickup basis only, called “click away.” Hair and nail salons, as well as book stores, will be open for customers with appointments only.
Day cares, primary schools, and middle schools will be open for in-person classes, but high schools will be closed.
There will be a curfew from 6 AM until 5 PM in Nafplio as well. The same curfew will apply to Arcadia.
The other restrictions for Arcadia are more severe, however, as all schools, including daycares, will be closed, and students will attend virtual classes.
Additionally, all non-essential businesses, including hairsalons will not be open, even for curbside pickup.
Total 184,686 coronavirus cases diagnosed in Greece
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total 184,686 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, including all those who have recovered from the virus.
Of the cases diagnosed in Greece in the past seven days, just 55 are associated with foreign travel and 2,578 have been linked to contact with a known case.
Of the 357 patients intubated currently, 86.8% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions.
Additionally, a total of 1,299 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The 28 new deaths recorded on Wednesday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 6,371, and 95.7% of those who have passed away with the virus were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.