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国际英语新闻:Greek PM thanks donors for contribution to battle against COVID-19

Source: Xinhuanet    2020-04-01  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

ATHENS, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his gratitude on Tuesday to all those who have helped in Greece's battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic.

He made the remark at a ceremony at the Athens international airport where 8.3 million surgical masks arrived from China.

They were the second batch of a total of 13.5 million masks purchased and donated by the Onassis Foundation in Greece to the Greek state to be delivered to hospitals nationwide, according to an e-mailed press statement issued by the Prime Minister's office.

The first batch arrived on Monday, while earlier this month the Chinese government and enterprises had made the first significant donation of over a million masks and other medical supplies to Greece.

"On behalf of the National Health System and all the Greek people, I would like to thank you for this extremely generous offer, to strengthen the National Health System in a time of crisis, with a very significant donation of 13 million masks that will be used exclusively to be able to shield those who are at the forefront of dealing with this very big crisis: doctors, nurses," Mitsotakis told Antonis Papadimitriou, president of the Onassis Foundation, according to Greek national broadcaster ERT.

The Greek leader expressed gratitude to all contributors, including big foundations, businesses and ship owners, as well as ordinary people like an Albanian immigrant dressmaker living in northern Greece with her family who made and donated to the local hospital 600 fabric masks.

As Greece was in a 14-day lockdown since March 23 as part of efforts to contain the virus' further spread, Mitsotakis noted that people should keep social distancing also during the upcoming Easter holiday, which for Greek Orthodox Christians falls on April 19 this spring.

This is the best contribution each citizen can make during the ongoing crisis, the prime minister and other state officials have repeatedly said in recent weeks.

"This year we will have a different Easter than we are used to. We will not go to our villages, we will not roast lambs in our yards, we will pray from our home, but it will be the exception to the rule so that we will be able to protect ourselves and our loved ones," he said.

On his part, Papadimitriou noted that the total cost of the latest deliveries from China was 7.7 million euros (8.5 million U.S. dollars).

"We believe that this is a minimal sample of honor and reciprocation for the doctors, nurses and administrative staff in hospitals who are currently fighting for all of us, for our health," he said.

Shortly after, the Health Ministry announced 82 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greece in the last 24 hours and 7 new deaths. This brings the country's total to 1,314 confirmed infections and 49 deaths.

Among the new confirmed infections, according to the ministry's press briefing, were 20 crew members who were among a total of 383 people on board a ship.

The Greek owned vessel "Eleftherios Venizelos" has docked off Piraeus port and Greek National Public Health Organization experts are conducting tests, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Among the new cases was also a refugee woman living in a camp near the city of Halkida, an hour's drive north of Athens, Health Ministry officials said.

All measures to trace her contacts and protect other camp residents have been taken, the Secretary General of Reception for Asylum Applicants at the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, Manos Logothetis, told AMNA.

It was still unclear whether the woman was infected at the camp or at an Athens hospital where she gave birth two days ago.

The result of a blood test on the newborn infant was still pending, while the baby's father is not infected, it was added. (1 euro= 1.1 U. S dollars)


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