After visiting Athens’ Patission Health Center on Thursday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis praised the country’s vaccination program, referring to a “wall of immunity” being built up against the coronavirus.
After inspecting the vaccination operations there, where he ascertained that work was proceeding very well, the PM thanked the staff for their services.
Noting that inoculation against the coronavirus was particularly important in order to leave the pandemic behind once and for all, the PM stated “I start with the good news: Vaccines are proving safe and effective.
“In our country, the process is going ahead in an organised and faster manner than in most European countries. That is why more and more of our fellow citizens trust them.
Restoring trust in the National Health System
“The important thing is that through this (vaccination) process, we are restoring the trust of the citizens in the state and in the National Health System.”
The Prime Minister watched the staff perform inoculations, spoke to citizens who were either waiting their turn or had just completed the process, and thanked the staff of the Patission for the valuable services they offer.
“Today, we will exceed the symbolic number of 1,000,000 doses, which means that every week that passes, we are building the wall of immunity that will allow us to leave behind this ordeal. From April, in fact, we will have many more doses at our disposal.
Coronavirus mutations highly contagious, leading to upswing in cases
“And as the weather improves, it will become our ally,” PM Mitsotakis stated.
“Covid-19, like all respiratory viruses, has a strong seasonality,” he went on to explain. “Therefore, we are at the beginning of the end.”
However, he added that there was “worrying news” in the form of virus variations now extant around the globe. “Mutations, and especially the British one, which is now predominant in our country, are highly contagious.
“That is why, lately, we are seeing an increase in cases and the National Health System under siege. We respond to this attack by further strengthening our hospitals, primarily in Attica, where we have the biggest problem,” the PM declared.
“The fact that we took restrictive measures early makes the situation manageable, despite the difficulties,” Mitsotakis added. “Otherwise, we would have become Portugal or the Czech Republic.”
Coronavirus spurs upgrades to the National Health System
The Prime Minister then referred to the upgrading of the public health system in the country, saying that public health measures called for the restricting of movement, especially around the nation’s capital.
“The new regulations are not fundamentally different from those of last spring,” he noted. “At that time, however, we observed them meticulously in the face of an unknown danger. Now, however, the danger is that we have ‘come to terms’ with it.
“I fully understand the many months of fatigue that can bring temporary relaxation. Maybe we are less afraid, hoping for the vaccine. But this is wrong,” he warned.
“The day before yesterday, I visited Sotiria Hospital. I saw our fellow citizens — 40 and 45 years old, without underlying diseases — suffering in the intensive care unit. So no one should feel invulnerable.
“Anyone can spread the coronavirus around them, causing trouble to others. Especially today, which is a day of traditional gatherings, we must be doubly careful,” the PM urged.
“Let’s celebrate (Tsiknopemti, or ‘Smoky Thursday’) only with our family. It is a pity, now that we see the exit, to do great damage.”
“The thread of hope”
Adding that of course everyone naturally wants retail shops to reopen and for life to go on as normal once gain. However, he cautioned, “Wearing a mask and avoiding contact and movement remain our weapons, until the shield of vaccines covers the whole country.”
The prime minister concluded his Thursday remarks by saying “These weeks seem to be the last obstacle before we reach the thread of hope. The last challenge, as we enter the finish line. That is why one last effort will bring us all to the glade of Freedom sooner. Let’s think about it and let’s do it.”
Meanwhile on Thursday, government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni stated in remarks to the press that, based on the latest scientific data, the National Vaccination Committee has also approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for those aged over 65.
Previously, the board had only given its OK for those under the age of 65.
“It is positive that in April are expected increased vaccine deliveries to Greece, as Pfizer has reaffirmed that the deliveries in April will exceed 1 million doses,” Peloni added.
She then noted that “equally important is that the Eleftheria (vaccination roll out operation,) the largest and most complex operation the Greek state has ever undertaken, is progressing smoothly and in an exemplary fashion, without significant vaccine losses.”