Good news following recent events – “No Easter exodus to villages,” warns Minister

Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis ruled out a lifting of lockdown measures and curfew restrictions before the Greek Orthodox Easter and sent to deep depression thousands of Greeks who were foolishly getting ready to visit their villages and the countryside and carelessly spread the coronavirus in areas free of confirmed cases.

“There will be no Easter exodus this year. The lockdown will definitely be in place also then,” Georgiadis told Skai TV on Sunday morning, two weeks ahead of the Greek Orthodox East on April 12.

Saying that the country has done well in managing the coronavirus crisis. he stressed it would be “a very big mistake” to have the virus transmitted to the countryside as the most cases have been recorded in Athens.

The minister warned that there will be strict police controls to prohibit thousands of cars leaving the cities and thousands of people move to their villages.

Media reported on Saturday of government plans to even close the highway tolls around the Easter time.

Transport to islands seems to be hardly a problem as only permanent residents are allowed to embark on ferries and these will have to carry documents with them confirming their permanent address.

Minister Georgiadis added that he would issue a circular to farmers and slaughterers on Monday so that they will keep in mind that this year’s Easter consumption will not be at the same level as usual.

The lockdown has been (initially) imposed for the period March 23-April 6, 2020. However, all restrictions aiming at limiting the spread of the virus are initially issued for a specific period of time, normally two weeks, and given the circumstances are extended.

The measures will be lifted “when experts tell us that we have beaten the virus,” Georgiadis said.

Sunday noon, he extended the measure for the closure cafes, bars, restaurants, retail shops, businesses, museums, archaeological sites, cinemas and theaters and sports facilities until April 11, 2020.

According to the official data released on Saturday evening, the total number of confirmed cases is 1,1061 and the death toll at 35. Three more people died on Sunday thus increasing the number of dead to 38.

The first confirmed case was detected on February 26, in a woman who had traveled to Italy, the second case on March 4 in a pilgrim who had returned from Israel.

There is talk that the lockdown would last for another four weeks.

Greek experts excepted that the next two weeks will be crucial for the course of the coronavirus in the country. Professor for Infectuous Diseases Nikos Sypsas told Open TV that “if we manage to stay at home, the peak will be relatively smooth.”

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