ATHENS (Sputnik) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Tuesday that the nation should act responsibly to counter the "invisible enemy," which is the new coronavirus.
"We are at war with an invisible enemy, who is not unbeatable. If we succeed in stopping the virus from spreading we will buy time for our health care system to respond to the emergency," he said in a televised address.
Mitsotakis said the government would spend an extra 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) on measures aimed at salvaging the industry. He announced tax holidays and promised that his administration would do everything to protect jobs in affected sectors.
"We are at the start of a battle that will be difficult, especially in the next two months... But our biggest weapon is our attitude. The virus is communicable and we should change our habits accordingly," he said, adding Greeks should stay at home more.
The Greek government has ordered a shutdown of non-essential businesses starting Wednesday. The country has reported 35 new cases of infection, taking the tally to 387. One person has died since Monday, and the death toll now stands at five.
The country will ban entry to third-country nationals who are not EU citizens in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the deputy minister for civil protection said Tuesday.
"Starting 6 a.m. [4:00 GMT] on March 18, the country will bar people who are not from Greece or EU member states from entering, except in emergencies and for doing urgent work," Nikos Chardalias told reporters.
He said foreigners in self-isolation in Greece were free to leave at any time.