During the daily briefing offered by the Greek Ministry of Health, the government’s Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias told citizens that Easter will be different this year.
In a widely circulated video, Hardalias told Greeks that “we will not go to the village, we will not roast lambs with friends, we won’t go to church, but we will worship from our homes.”
He continued, “We stay home so that we may be able to celebrate Easter with all of our loved ones and not without some of these people. So that we may protect our friends and family in the village and so that our children can make more memories with their grandmothers and grandfathers.”
Hardalias continued with a plea to Greeks to stay home, unless for valid reasons as mandated by the government’s curfew orders.
Watch Hardalias’ address regarding Easter in Greece
Greece remains in national lockdown since Monday, March 23. The government has followed a number of other European countries by restricting movement, allowing people to travel only to and from work, shopping for essentials, helping a vulnerable relative, walking a pet or going for a run.
No more than two people are allowed in open spaces or cars and violators face a €150 fine. Greeks are required to carry with them written confirmation explaining why they have left their homes.
As of Monday, the number of coronavirus cases in Greece surpassed 1,200, along with 43 deaths.
The private sector responds
In the meantime, numerous wealthy Greek families and institutions are stepping up to support their nation’s health sector.
Pharmaceutical companies have donated tens of millions of euros in medicine and supplies to state-run hospitals. Other companies are donating services, supplies and other products to support the government’s efforts.
Theodoros and Gianna Angelopoulos announced a €1 million gift to Greece’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Technology, which is leading Greek efforts on coronavirus infection prevention.
Additional gifts of €1 million from the Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulos Foundation and Panagiotis and Giorgos Angelopoulos have also been given to the Greek state.
The Onassis Foundation announced a donation of 13.5 million masks to support Greek health workers in hospitals. The value of the masks is almost €8 million.
In an announcement the Onassis Foundation said the gift was a “thank you” to the medical and nursing staff of the country for their vital work.
“United, even from a distance, we will make it,” the announcement read. “We stay at home but we don’t stay away.”
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