Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the hospital in Athens that is currently treating patients afflicted with the coronavirus and took part in a delivery of thousands of masks and other protective gear for the medical teams.
He was accompanied by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, whose ministry has been on the front lines of handling the pandemic in Greece.
During his visit with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, he acknowledged their role in managing the health crisis in Greece and called them the “heroes behind the masks.”
Mitsotakis has been praised globally for his role in keeping the pandemic under check in Greece and for mobilizing all aspects of his government to respond, accordingly.
His government announced new tax breaks and economic assistance to thousands of businesses and workers who have been impacted by forced closures and a mandatory lockdown of the country.
The support measures include a one-off benefit for 1.7 million, or 81 percent of private sector workers whose jobs are temporarily suspended and payment of their social security contributions for 45 days. It would also extend financial aid for the self employed and suspend VAT and tax arrear payments for 800,000 businesses.
In addition to a high profile public affairs campaign to encourage Greeks to stay home (Menoume Spiti), various ministries pivoted immediately and responded to the new realities both at home, as well as globally.
The Ministry of Tourism created an online platform with Google called Greece From Home, which gathers hours of content on a single YouTube channel and features numerous travel and culture-related resources. The entire premise of the campaign is to allow potential visitors to continue visiting, learning and dreaming about Greece while they stay safely in their homes.
The government’s Ministry of Digital Governance also launched a series of initiatives including websites asking for the solidarity and support of fellow Greek citizens and businesses in the wake of the crisis.
Within days of its launch, more than 11,000 people signed up on ethelontes.gov.gr to serve as volunteers in various capacities, including in support of the country’s hospitals that were dealing with an overwhelming number of sick people.
Thousands of businesses also joined the platform digitalsolidarity.gov.gr to share free or low cost services for the general population that has been forced to stay at home. These services include everything from e-learning to tele-medicine and health support.
Another project, also by the Ministry of Digital Governance, couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for Greeks who have been used to getting hand-written prescriptions for pharmaceuticals by their doctors. A new pilot program allows for prescriptions to be filled via SMS or email, which the patient can then present to the pharmacy.
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