It is not just international experience which shows that at this point any loosening of measures restricting citizens’ movement in public places could prove fateful.

The rise in the number of deaths from Covid-19 that was announced yesterday indicates that a shift toward laxity at this point would undermine the enormous efforts that have been made in order to limit the spread of the virus.

No one should forget that we are still very much at the beginning of this battle.

Similarly, one must not forget the financial burden that citizens will yet again have to shoulder after the great sacrifices they made during the decade-long economic crisis.

This is a battle on two fronts. The first is the push to ensure strict adherence to public health guidelines and the other is the effort to support those who have economically been hit hard by those measures.

As much as one may want to minimise the number of people and businesses affected there are far many more than one would like.

Therefore, the threat of a new economic catastrophe is absolutely real.

Quite rightly the government in this phase has made public health its top priority.

Yet it would be disastrous to leave the economy to its own devices as many governments in Europe are well aware, though there are glaring and unfortunate exceptions, which have made the situation even more difficult.

In any event that should not alter the fact that the top priority is religious adherence to restrictive public health measures.