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Greek PM says ready to impose more COVID-19 restrictions in Athens

ATHENS, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday authorities were ready to impose further COVID-19 restrictions in the greater Athens area due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

The rise in infections in recent months has forced authorities to gradually reimpose bans and measures including the mandatory use of face masks in all enclosed public and private places.

Health authorities reported 359 new infections on Thursday, more than half of them in the greater Athens area, Attica, where about one third of the country’s population lives.

That brings the total number since the first coronavirus case was detected in February to 14,400 cases. A total of 325 people have died.

“The government is ready to implement additional measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Attica,” Mitsotakis said during a teleconference with ministers.

He said the country’s committee of health experts had suggested extra curbs on public gatherings, the suspension of cultural events for 14 days and other measures.

“These measures could be decided today ... and go into force on Monday,” he said.

Greek authorities tightened restrictions earlier in the week, saying the pandemic was showing “worrying signs of resilience”. (Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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