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As COVID-19 Resurges, Mitsotakis Rules Out More Restrictions

ATHENS – Essentially admitting it can't get everyone to comply with health measures aimed at preventing the surging spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' government has scrapped plans to impose more.

An announcement on more restrictions was supposed to come Oct. 9 but Kathimerini said that government spokesman Stelios Petsas explained there are “too many” already, with defiance of wearing masks and social distancing ongoing.

Speaking to broadcaster SKAI, Petsas said no more measures are coming for now even as the cases and deaths keep rising, Mitsotakis has been reluctant to impose another lockdown as he did in March.

That 10-week shutdown was credited with holding down the number of cases and deaths but Mitsotakis said another would bring an economic shock although his finance minister said it could be sustained.

“Burdening continuously the population with (new) measures and not focusing on their faithful observance will be problematic and possibly backfire,” he said.

Petsas said while Greece is in a second wave that it's not near a danger point, except for those infected or dead.

He admitted that “there is a pressure in Attica,” but the Health Ministry is increasing the number of Intensive Care Units (ICU's) after the Diaspora and some benefactors, absent shipping oligarchs, helped provide more.

“Today we see a lot of cases originating from the workplace,” said Petsas, adding that one measure that might come if the pandemic gets worse is the mandatory wearing of masks everywhere, including outside.

Greece’s National Organization for Public Health (EODY) reported 436 new Coronavirus cases Oct. 8, bringing the country-wide total to 21,381, with six deaths raising the grim toll to 430.

Of the total number, 40.8% were traced to another patient and 14.8 percent related to foreign travel as tourists allowed to enter the country in July also brought cases with them even as Greece courted more to keep coming.

Seventeen people tested positive for COVID-19 at the country’s borders, ports and airports. Some 91 patients remain intubated in ICU's while 236 left.

So far there have been 1,390,270 tests conducted  and the number of Rapid Ag tests rose to 20,079.

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