Greece’s prime minister on Thursday called for people to protect themselves against the novel coronavirus.

In a televised address, Kyriakos Mitsotakis appealed to Greeks to comply with all measures to curb the outbreak and avoid a possible new lockdown.

Mitsotakis underlined the effectiveness of social distancing, personal hygiene and the use of face masks, dubbing them a “vaccination before the vaccine.”

He stressed the potential damage a possible lockdown would incur on the already-battered economy.

Greece has recently seen a spike in daily infections which rose to 453 earlier this week — its highest daily number since the outbreak began.

Meanwhile, the death toll also continues to rise, with health authorities reporting nine more deaths on Thursday and bringing the total number to 366 since the start of the pandemic.

The country’s National Organization for Public Health recorded 342 new infections on Thursday, warning that the virus does not appear to be subsiding.

Of these, 213 were in the Attica region, while total cases since the appearance of the pandemic in the country have risen to 16,627.

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