Tsipras: ‘We must support the people on the frontline as the pandemic is not over’

Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday pointed out the need to support the national health system and the people fighting the battle against Covid-19 on the frontline, providing both moral and material support, given that the pandemic was not over. Tsipras made the statements after his meeting with the board and employees of the General Hospital of Katerini in Pieria.

He said that there must be immediate and real support for the national health system and he also referred to the vaccination effort. Tsipras noted that, based on the indications to date and even though the vaccine is essential, it will not have created a sufficient wall of immunity within the population by March. “It is a huge mistake to create the expectation and complacency that the end of the pandemic will come with the vaccinations,” he said, warning that cultivating unrealistically high expectations could act as a boomerang, becoming anger and rage.

He said that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had promised to have two million vaccines within January but, in actual fact, no more than 200,000 citizens will have been vaccinated by the end of January and, based on the number of doses foreseen for Greece until now, only 600,000 citizens will be vaccinated by the end of March. This meant that Greece will still have four to 4.5 very difficult months ahead.

Tsipras also spoke of the Covid-19 cases in the region of Pieria and in northern Greece generally, saying that the two previous months were very punishing and that conditions continue to be extremely difficult.

He said that the hospital of Katerini has been pushed beyond its limits, adding that the assessment is not good. “One hundred and sixty-nine people died in Pieria, which has a population of 125,000 and this is a big number,” he said.