ATHENS – The government will do its best to “ensure that the serious cases of coronavirus and few and far between,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised public message on Wednesday evening.
“We have already done what is necessary to protect public health,” Mitsotakis said, adding that “all public and private sectors are called upon to collaborate” to fight the epidemic, which the World Health Organization today upgraded to a pandemic.
The premier warned that “the economy will be hit, and these repercussions must be contained,” and said that more measures would be announced to support business sectors affected by the epidemic.
As of Wednesday, he said, working parents are entitled to a special leave from work (a measure following an announcement on Tuesday that educational facilities of all levels have shut down for two weeks), but he also said that “no mass measure can replace personal responsibility.”
Addressing statements that Christian faith and going to church is enough to prevent infection, Mitsotakis said, “We don’t want to harm ourselves and our loved ones. Personally, I have felt the need to call upon my faith, but as a prime minister I am obligated to listen to specialists and scientists. Whatever is valid for public gatherings also relates to churches as well.”
What Greece needs right now, he said, is “the faith to overcome this crisis – as long as we follow closely the directions of doctors and specialists.”