Greek PM asks lawmakers to donate half of salary to coronavirus fight

“I am sure that other political parties will do the same,” Mitsotakis said. [EPA/ IAN LANGSDON]

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on the lawmakers of his New Democracy party (EPP) on Monday (30 March) to set aside half of their salary for a special coronavirus account for the next two months.

The same will apply for ministers and deputy ministers of his government. “I am sure that other political parties will do the same,” Mitsotakis said.

“As the government was the first to mobilise with bold measures against the pandemic, so our country’s political world must stand at the forefront of solidarity,” Mitsotakis wrote on Facebook.

“We are all equal in the face of this health threat. But in the battle against it, everyone has to offer according to their own strengths,” the conservative leader added.

Greece has so far confirmed 1,156 coronavirus cases, while 39 deaths have been reported.

Athens was one of the first EU capitals that imposed strict confinement measures as soon as the situation in northern Italy started getting out of control.

The number of tests, however, remains low, drawing the criticism of some analysts.

But according to Greek health ministry representative Sotiris Tsiordas, testing will increase in due time.

“A massive control with tests is a strategy to be followed when it is considered epidemiologically necessary,” he said, referring to the period when the epidemic in Greece will be over.

“It makes no sense now. It is more interesting to look at the level of population immunity in rolling studies, when we have a reliable technique,” the epidemiologist added.

He said that once the confinement measures are lifted, such a general check would make sense, so that “people who are suspected of the disease gradually become isolated and especially those who are at the forefront.”

This is already happening with people having chronic health problems or those who work in health facilities, he added.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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