Greece sees April as decisive for beating virus
Athens: Greece said Monday it hoped to be able to lift some COVID-19 restrictions next month if the public respects the current lockdown until then.
“April will be the hardest and most decisive month,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters in a conference call briefing.
“By staying home in April, we will be able in May to enjoy the first results of our responsible attitude,” said Petsas.
Whereas neighbouring Italy has been the European country hardest hit by the new coronavirus, Greece has to date come off comparatively lightly.
Up to Sunday afternoon, the country's health authorities, despite having been tested to the brink by the effects of a decade-long financial crisis, had reported 1,735 confirmed coronavirus cases and 76 fatalities.
Greece took strict measures to stem the pandemic after the first death was reported in the country on March 12.
Schools, archaeological sites, museums, cafes, bars and hotels gradually closed thereafter before a general lockdown was imposed and extended until April 27.
Petsas said the “strict and difficult measures” taken in response to the virus spread Greece had been able to limit its spread and added, come May, the country could hope for a “return to normality” if it avoided “mistakes which could compromise” its efforts so far.
The lockdown will deprive Greeks of their traditional Orthodox Easter festivities on April 19, the country's most popular religious holiday.
Petsas said the government is considering a church proposal for Easter services to be held behind closed doors. - AFP