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Politics

Peloni: Epidemiological Situation in Greece Remains Extremely Serious

ATHENS — The epidemiological situation in Greece remains extremely serious, government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni underlined while opening the online press briefing on Monday.

"Last week there was a rise in new infections both in Attica and in most regional units of the country. It was also apparent that there was a small drop in the percentage of new cases among people aged over 75 years old, something that is obviously linked with the vaccination coverage of these ages, and that the new cases are mainly among people people between 20 to 60 years old, who move about more," she explained.

For this reason, Peloni added, a decision was made to impose additional measures to restrict people's movements and slow down the third wave of the pandemic, but while the spread of the virus occurred at great speed, de-escalation required time and sacrifices.

"It appears that the effort is becoming more and more difficult in this phase, due to people's fatigue and the variants that in total now make up 60-70 pct of new cases in Attica, while in Crete they are close to 90 percent".

Referring to the vaccine rollout, she underlined that over 1 million vaccinations have been performed, while some people have also received the second dose, and that, by the end of March, one million citizens will have been fully vaccinated. She also said that the vaccination appointment platform for at-risk groups among younger ages is expected to open in March.

At the same time, Peloni said, larger deliveries of vaccines are expected in Greece in April, so that by the end of that month all Greeks over 60 will have received the first shot of the vaccine.

She also said it was "extremely positive" that the process for establishing a European Vaccination Certificate – a proposal first put forward by the Greek prime minister – has been launched.

Finally, referring to the economy, Peloni underlined that "the government continues the reforms that will pave the way for a strong growth after the end of the pandemic. It is, of course, a fact that the recession in Greece was deep. However, according to provisional figures by the Independent Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), the recession is calculated to be 8.2 pct of GDP instead of the two-figure percentage that was forecast." Also, she added, Greece will not be the recession "champion", as some had predicted.

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