Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas, in a press briefing on Thursday, underlined that "this Easter will be different" and noted that this was what "the message of love that marks these Holy Days requires".
"In order to continue to be together, this year we will be far away," he added, and briefly repeated the measures in effect for the prevention of gatherings, in order to break the chain of contamination.
He said that it is very important that the Church of Greece has said that the liturgies will be held in empty churches, without access to the public.
Petsas also urged the few people, who based on a survey on Wednesday appear to be planning to visit relatives and friends on Easter Sunday, to not go ahead with their plans.
The government spokesperson reiterated that the restrictive measures are in effect until April 27 and added that "the governent is working on a strategic plan for a gradual transition to normality, taking into account the epidemiological data and the experts' recommendations, but we are not there yet". He explained that the return to normality will be long and gradual, not automatic or horizontal, and will unfold in successive phases that are different for every sector of the economy and for each population group.
"Every step will be controlled and the next one will depend on the result of the previous one, with the results of the strategy evaluated every day," he expalined. He said that the hiring of medical and nursing staff will continue, as will the creation of new ICUs and the supply of additional medical equipment. Namely he said that the ICU beds have increased from 565 to 997, while 3,073 doctors and nursing staff have been hired .
Petsas said that the prime minister approved 2.5 million euros for the epidemic study of the coronavirus in which assist university schools and scientific agencies.
Referring to the economy, he said it was very positive that Greece on Wednesday successfully raised 2.0 billion euros with interest rate of 2 pct through the issue of a 7-year bond. Despite the worldwide economic storm and current adverse conditions, he noted, Greece has proved that it is capable. The markets' confidence in Greece and in the government was confirmed and this is benefits all Greeks, he added.