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Gov’t needs a new plan to manage the pandemic crisis, says ex Health Minister

The government needs to come up with a new plan to manage the coronavirus pandemic crisis, Andreas Xanthos, former Health Minister (SYRIZA) urged on Monday as the trend is upward, hospitalizations increase and most likely new restrictions are due.

Speaking to Skai TV, Xanthos said Greece is “at a very critical phase of the pandemic’s resurgence, which requires new and more effective planning, and a reversal of society’s relaxation and lack of belief” in the seriousness of the disease.

He attributed this relaxed attitude to the government’s “backtracking, contradictions and retreating from standards of public health, that affected the development of the pandemic.”

He also charged the government with trying to benefit politically from the initial success of managing the pandemic successfully, “while now that we are daily experiencing an uncontrollable rise in infections, there’s an exaggerated emphasis on the [public’s] lack of personal responsibility, and the government’s role and the state’s responsibility is downgraded in a provocative way.” It’s as if “successes for managing the disease are the government’s and failures the citizens’,” he stressed.

A new plan will limit the spread of the virus, he said.

Localized, targeted actions – including more intensive testing at the country’s entry points and hotbeds of dispersion domestically – would return the country to safety and limit damage in the tourism sector.

It is essential, he said, to “ensure a sense of social and political consent, without which citizens cannot conscientiously observe regulations or public health measures be effective.”

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