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Petsas Urges Compliance with Measures to Bring Pandemic Levels Down Quickly

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Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS -- Greece has to bring its epidemiological load down quickly as it cannot afford to be in a constant lockdown and have restrictions on movements between regions, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas noted on Friday in statements to "Radio Thessaloniki".

"What matters is to be able to quickly bring down the epidemiological load - and this is up to us. This week we appeal to Thessaloniki residents to avoid any contact with their surrounding environment, to avoid visits to houses...we see this in Athens and elsewhere. Let us stay within our own spaces and then the epidemiological load will fall sharply," he said.

"We cannot look at different speeds in the lifting of lockdown between regions at this time and we have no such recommendation from the experts," he clarified. "If we see that there are different hotbeds in various geographical regions next week also, this is something that the epidemiologists will propose to us. But we are not there yet, nor has something of this sort been examined," he added.

Petsas called for "extra effort" to comply with Covid-19 curbs in areas with local holidays coming up, such as Patras and Corfu, to avoid super-spreader events like those that occurred in Thessaloniki on the feast day of St. Demetrius.

He also noted that the situation in northern Greece was not improving as fast as the government would like, though experts believe the r rate has now dropped below 1, though it still remains high.

Petsas said the health system in the area, through strained, was managing to cope and that the airlifts on Thursday were for people that doctors considered needed an ICU for better treatment.

"Since March, we have in our planning, firstly the reinforcement of the national health system, secondly collaboration with the private sector and requisitioning, if needed, and thirdly, using the healthcare infrastructure of the army. This is all in the framework of a plan for dealing with a war. We have never experienced a situation like this before. It is the worst global health crisis the planet has seen in the last 100 years," Petsas said.

He said the government had appealed to private doctors to voluntarily come forward to assist in the effort against Covid-19 but had not ruled out requisitioning, though "it seems we are not there yet."