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Politics

Sources: Greece to Impose Strict Lockdown until Sunday, Feb. 28

ATHENS — The decision for universal lockdown to the strict standards of last March in Attica, which will be reviewed on Sunday, February 28, is expected to be announced by the government today,

The closing of schools of all levels as well as retail businesses, even with the click away method, would be included in the universal lockdown, according to the information.

Earlier today, an emergency meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was held at the Maximos Mansion to discuss the latest epidemiological data. The meeting was attended by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, Deputy Civil Protection and Crisis Management Minister Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister for Coordinating the Government Akis Skertsos, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister and government spokesperson Christos Tarantilis, infectious diseases expert Prof. Sotiris Tsiodras and the head of the National Public Health Organisation (NPHO) Panagiotis Arkoumaneas.

After the meeting, Kikilias said that the prime minister asked for the emergency meeting to examine taking measures against the pandemic in Attica.

"The Committee [of health experts] will convene, make its recommendations, and any measures decided will then be announced," he said.

A toughened second lockdown not working to sufficiently hold down COVID-19, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Feb. 9 brought together government officials and health authorities to discuss stricter measures requiring people to stay home.

That would be similar to the first real lockdown in March, 2020 that lasted 10 weeks after a second more lenient version that began Nov. 7, 2020 – too late, he admitted – didn’t work, despite rejiggering.

The meeting came after Kikilias said in a TV interview that expert reports submitted to the Health Ministry show more stringent measures are needed in the capital and surrounding area where cases have been rising.

That has seen more hospital admissions and people on ventilators in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) although the New Democracy government on Jan. 25 had added more restrictions after complacency brought a resurgence.

“We have been waging an unequal battle with the coronavirus for the past 11 months and have managed. Now the battle is against time, meaning until we can get 60-70 percent of the population vaccinated,” Kikilias told Open TV.

“We have no right to do anything less than what the situation demands,” he added. The vaccination program is far behind schedule with less than 4 percent of the population being inoculated so far.

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