Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated the Civil Protection Service for their “excellent work under difficult circumstances.”
The comments were made during a video conference on Saturday, connecting Mitsotakis from Maximos Mansion with the service’s headquarters in Chalandri.
“We were called upon to manage an unprecedented crisis of a medical nature, and you handled it with great efficiency, a great sense of responsibility,” the PM told Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias.
“Particularly in specialised issues related to the process of contact tracking… you managed to do an excellent job under difficult circumstances,” he added.
Among the programs Chardalias described to the PM were applications that pinpoint the location of confirmed coronavirus cases, and in terms those who have need of hospitalisation for the Covid-19 illness, it provides the ratio of patients to available ICU units in the hospitals they are in.
Another app includes all individuals required to self-isolate (e.g. after returning from abroad infected or becoming infected by others in Greece), and pinpoints their location on maps so they may be either called or visited to ensure they comply. All data, Hardalias noted, is classified at different levels and accessible only by designated officials.
Mitsotakis said that “the coronavirus forced us to enter an accelerator, and Greece responded,” and said that it was part of the government’s policy that the service be ready to assume every type of crisis, especially natural disasters and the approaching fire season in the Greek summers.
“We have found out that [besides natural catastrophes] we have other threats as well: There are invisible enemies who may prove to be particularly dangerous and require a different degree of preparedness and readiness,” the PM said.
On Saturday, Health Ministry spokesperson and infectious diseases expert Professor Sotiris Tsiodras announced 72 new confirmed cases and 3 new deaths in the last 24 hours.
Of the total 2,081 infections, 535 were infected abroad and 796 in Greece.
Deaths total 93 since the start of the outbreak, of whom 90% had underlying health issues or their average age was 70 or over. Of the total, 26 deaths were of women.
Some 75 patients are being treated in Intensive Care Units and 77% suffer from underlying health issues. A total of 15 people have so far been discharged from ICUs.
At the press briefing, Hardalias also spoke of the new infection breakout in the Larissa region – which he and Tsiodras visited on Friday – and the lockdowns of the Nea Smyrni Roma community and the nearby refugee facility at Koutsohero. He said that 362 people were tested in the last two days and 25 samples were found positive to coronavirus.
He thanked both communities for observing the restrictions, and the regional government for their support and actions.