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Athens heads back into lockdown to curb resurgence in COVID-19 cases

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Athens city centre
Athens city centre   -   Copyright  Euronews
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The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced a strict lockdown till the end of the month for Athens and the region of Attika.

The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases admitted to hospitals in these areas has alarmed the government. Every day, 15 more patients require beds in intensive care units, and they are already 70% occupied.

Mitsotakis confirmed in a televised address, "From Thursday, until February 28, the restrictive measures in Attika will be increased. All forms of retail close and from now on all levels of education will operate remotely. Experience from the first wave of the pandemic, as well as from the lockdown after the Christmas holidays, shows that the faster the restrictions are implemented, the sooner they are lifted"

The announcement of the new lockdown is causing anger and frustration among the business people of Athens.

Dimitra Syrigou reopened her clothing store a few weeks ago and now has to close it again. The 35-year-old businesswoman insists that no one cares about her problems and says that she and her family feel totally helpless.

"The whole market has been tragically affected. The state has not offered us any substantial help. And now it's closing us down again. What can we do? Nothing really... We'll simply stay locked in our houses. I'm wondering if we can endure this new hardship. We are waiting to see if our business will be the next one to close down for good''

The climate is similar on the streets of Athens where people believe that mistakes have been made in the management of the pandemic. Many are afraid of losing their jobs because of repeated restrictive measures.

"This is really difficult. We have all been under a lot of pressure for a long time. We will definitely stay at home, we have no other choice. Yet, I believe that such measures should have been taken earlier, immediately after the summer, in order to prevent this situation," said Lawyer Athina Marmara.

Watch our full report in the player above.