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Hardalias: Epidemiological Data a Key Factor for a Potential Lockdown Lifting

November 23, 2020

ATHENS — The government's decision on when and how the current lockdown is lifted will be based exclusively on epidemiological data, the development of the current second wave of the pandemic and the experts' conclusions, said Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias during Monday's live briefing.

The minister noted that the pandemic seems to follow a relative stabilization trend, and reiterated that the government's sole priority is the protection of human lives.

Keeping up with restrictive measures is every person's only way to ensure one's well-being, he stressed, and insisted on everyone's due diligence.

Responding to reporters' questions on the number of infections with no obvious link to known clusters, the minister said that a 92.3 pct of all cases are traced "thoroughly enough", including all the patient's known contacts. There are currently some 190 employees tasked with contacts tracing for the Civil Protection Secretariat, while another 192 will be hired very soon, he pointed out.

When the recent record number of 3,350 new daily cases was registered, said Hardalias, the agency's 190 contacts tracers were assigned approximately 18 cases each, a task that was completed within 10 to 14 hours. Some of these staff members come from the armed forces and others from the National Public Health Organization, and they apply themselves to the best of their abilities every day, he concluded.

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