x

Society

COVID-19 Pandemic at Turning Point in Greece: Lives or Economy

November 30, 2020
ATHENS – After admitting he waited too long to bring a second national lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Greece, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is facing a dilemma: when to lift it to salvage the economy or keep it in place to save lives.
 
He had been applauded for bringing an early 10-week lockdown that began March 23 and held down the number of cases and deaths but, wanting to save an economy already battered by the temporary closing of non-essential businesses waited to do it again until Nov. 7 as a second wave spread.
 
That was due to be lifted Dec. 1 but has been extended until at least Dec. 7, likely longer if the epidemiological data doesn't improve, with signs the number of cases is slowing but not deaths and with public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU's) overwhelmed with critical cases and patients on ventilators.
An advisory committee of scientists and doctors didn't direct him fast enough for the second lockdown, Mitsotakis hinted without blaming them directly and as he faces criticism from rival parties over his handling of the pandemic. 
 
Mitsotakis told advisors, said Kathimerini, that "his priority is the protection of human life," with government and health authorities saying a too early lifting would lead to a third lockdown in January and a worsening of the pandemic.
 
The panel's findings, said the paper, showed that while a critical factor – the RT or reproduction rate showing how fast COVID-19 spreads – has started to lessen that it hasn't fallen fast enough to warrant a quick lifting of the lockdown.
 
Given the slowing pace, a substantial reduction in ICU and hospital admissions is expected as of the week of Dec. 7 but not immediately, indicating a longer lockdown that could doom the critical Christmas period for teetering businesses.
 
The thinking for now is said to be leaning toward a phased lifting of the lockdown starting with areas of the country less affected and those hardest hit, which include Athens and Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city and major port that became a hot spot, brought largely by the young ignoring health protocols and going to clubs allowed open before the shutdown.
 
The government is hopeful that the first vaccines will arrive before the end of the year so that the pandemic could hopefully be slowed significantly or brought to an end by spring 2021 although the paper said surveys found that 30 percent of people don't believe it's safe and won't take it which could affect any potential recovery.
 

RELATED

ATHENS - The Greek Parliament plenary approved funding for print media on Tuesday that will help them overcome financial problems resulting from the energy crisis.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.