Mitsotakis: ‘War against coronavirus continues, but victory is now visible’
The war against the coronavirus continues, but victory is now visible on the horizon, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in an article he penned for the Saturday edition of daily newspaper TA NEA.
Marking one year since the coronavirus broke out in Greece and the first infection reported on 26 February 2020, the Greek Premier noted that victory will come sooner if everyone stays careful and feeds strength from all the difficulties which have now have been surpassed. “Let’s walk these last few steps before the spring of our freedom”, he stressed.
In Greece, the pandemic was complicated further as it first unfolded at the same time as “an asymmetrical assault in our northern borders by migration outflows from Turkey”. At the same time, the country was then coming out of a decade of financial recession, while entering a trajectory of growth and development, he added.
“All those fronts were critical and they also all affected and superimposed on one another.”
One year later, however, the country has defended its integrity, its eastern borders and also Europe’s borders, he pointed up, and “responded to its neighbors’ aggression, expanding its national prowess with strong alliances and crucial agreements.”
Amid the pandemic, Greece strengthened its national health system, “in combination with relief measures supporting all those affected (…), while also facing extreme weather phenomena and other emergencies in the natural environment”, Mitsotakis underlined.
Within only a few months, intensive care unit beds more than doubled, and the number of health workers increased by almost 12,000; hospitals’ medical equipment was renewed, while millions of diagnostic tests were secured, alongside the introduction of new tracking and monitoring systems for new coronavirus cases.
Some 30 billion was allocated to support production, covering for employees’ wages and social insurance contributions, while also financing companies that provide employment, he noted.
“Keeping up with health safety restrictions and preventive measures is the way to move ahead until vaccines have provided coverage for the entire country,” he noted, “because then the target will have been achieved. The first year of the coronavirus in Greece will become history as the first and last year of the pandemic in the country”, he underlined.
Greece defended itself successfully against the many difficulties that arose from the pandemic, he pointed out, and “despite losses, the economic and social fabric stayed standing, solid, and became more dynamic, armed with valuable experience.”
As vaccinations are unfolding and citizens feel more confident against the virus, “recovery is now clearly visible, more so than ever before during the pandemic”, he highlighted.
This adventure, as the Prime Minister called it, has provided many valuable lessons: “It is not possible to outline the government’s policy in its entirety during all that time, but it is also hard to describe everything that has been achieved,” he noted, “with some of the key procedural achievements being the growth of digital assistive technology as regards to e-learning and telework”, he pointed out.
“Citizens feel that the state is standing by (…), because the state was, and still is, very much in the here-and-now for them”, concluded Mitsotakis.
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