The example of Portugal (photo) is resounding, tragic, and instructive as regards managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

A country can slide into the red danger zone due to a leap in the number of confirmed cases and deaths and then have to request assistance from other countries.

The difference between fueling the danger and eliminating it is still very fluid and naturally that applies to Greece as well.

We have seen recently that people in our country have either been lax in abiding by public health measures or have defied them outright.

Clearly a large segment of the population feels fatigued.

Obviously the economic situation for countless people is precarious and the population is anxious to return to normalcy.

Nonetheless, the threat of COVID-19 is still very much with us. Societies have not exited the danger zone and the rolling out of a massive vaccination programme is not an automatic solution.

In that sense we must all behave in a more responsible and disciplined manner. Public health measures and collective sacrifices are more important now and they require maturity and patience.

The example of Portugal and the threat of a third wave are very much with us and jeopardise the enormous efforts made by societies so far.

People must realise that the revival of our economy requires healthy forces and the protection of the most vulnerable groups in society.

Otherwise our task may prove Sisyphean.

We must not let up in our efforts to transcend the crisis with all segments of society standing.