Mitsotakis: The economy will not shut down again despite anti-vaxxers

Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Given that the vaccine is available, Greece's economy and society will not be shut down again, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined on Wednesday while addressing an event organised by the parliament's standing committee for social affairs.

Vaccinated citizens will not lose the rights they gained by following the advice of the scientists and the state, he added.

Mitsotakis clarified that the unvaccinated will be subjected to more testing instead.

"I will once again ask those that are still hesitating to get vaccinated, if possible by tomorrow, so that we can stop mourning the loss of human lives which we could have prevented if we had higher vaccination rates, so as to reduce the pressure on our hospitals and finally escape this ordeal," he said.

The Prime Minister also appealed to all the political parties "to be able to listen carefully to the advice of science and not pointlessly make political a national battle which must be won."

Mitsotakis ruled out the possibility of a lockdown in statements to reporters after addressing an event organised by parliament's Standing Committee for Social Affairs on "Management of chronic diseases and promotion of presymptomatic screening after the COVID-19 pandemic".

"This is the approach adopted by all countries currently being tested by the pandemic. We are not the only ones facing a fourth wave," Mitsotakis said.

"It is important to not only look at the number of infections.

"There is no doubt that case numbers are high and there that there is a rising trend but at the same time, we are champions in Europe for testing.

"So, what matters most is the rate of positivity (among tests taken) and not the absolute number of infections."

Regarding the rising numbers of cases, he said that there was pressure on the national health system, which especially in northern Greece was not negligible, but which did not compare to that experienced in November 2020.

"We are far better prepared this year and it is a key political choice that, since we have the vaccine, we will not go into lockdown," the prime minister clarified.

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