Update – 03/08/2020
August 3, 2020
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 4,662. 75 were the new coronavirus cases announced on Sunday, 4 of which from international arrivals. 2 new deaths were reported raising the total number remains to 208. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 12, while 128 patients have exited the intensive care unit.
Sunday’s data are less alarming than Saturday’s 110 new cases _ the fourth largest daily tally and largest since April _ but authorities are stepping up inspections, especially at holiday hotspots, where people have started gathering after a very slow start to the tourist season.
At least 24 workers at a factory in the town of Kavala, in northern Greece, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to reports on Saturday. Health officials are awaiting the results of a total of 120 samples, according to the same reports.
An outdoor wedding reception is being linked to 11 confirmed cases in western Thessaloniki, in northern Greece. The wedding was held on July 25 in the suburb of Ambelokipoi. More than 150 people were in attendance at the wedding. Officials are waiting for the results of 60 tests. Three patients have been admitted to Papanikolaou hospital.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will hold a virtual meeting today with ministers and experts to discuss the latest increase in coronavirus cases. Mitsotakis is expected to reiterate the need for diligent observance of safety measures against the novel coronavirus and the potential stepping-up of health protocols.
With stricter measures imposed by the authorities last week following a new spike in infections of Covid-19, health experts say the risk of a second wave of the pandemic is significant. Although the steady increase of cases last week fuelled enough concern for authorities to reintroduce the mandatory use of face masks in public places, experts point to one reassuring development: unsourced cases – namely infections whose origin cannot be determined – remain at around 10 to 12 daily. If this rate increases significantly, however, authorities will face a serious challenge in controlling the spread of the disease.
Regarding yesterday’s cases:
- 4 were detected during the tests carried out at Greece’s entry points
- 5 are imported cases, which requested testing voluntarily
- 19 cases were detected in the regional unit of Attica, 3 of which are related to the outbreak in the national water polo team
- 15 cases were detected in the regional unit of Thessaloniki, 4 of which are related to the wedding held in Ambelokipoi area
- 13 cases were detected in the regional unit of Kavala, 11 of which are related to the outbreak in the meat processing factory
- 4 cases were detected in the regional unit of Chalkidiki
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Arcadia
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Imathia
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Ioannina
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Kastoria
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Kerkyra
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Kozani
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Corinthia
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Pieria
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Chania
- 2 cases were detected in the regional unit of Heraklion in Crete
- 2 cases were detected in the regional unit of Xanthi
- 2 cases were detected in the regional unit of Phthiotis
- With cases of the coronavirus steadily rising, face masks are as of Saturday, August 1, compulsory in all public indoor spaces as part of a fresh batch of measures announced by Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias Friday. The mask requirement applies to churches too, he said, while he also strongly recommended face coverings in crowded outdoor areas. The deputy minister further announced the suspension of visiting hours at hospitals and care homes until August 15. As of today, a maximum of 100 guests will be allowed to attend weddings and christenings, while a ban on religious festivals has been extended to August 31, he said. What’s more, between August 3 and 9, entertainment venues will only be allowed to have customers that are seated. This applies to clubs, live music venues, bars, restaurants, cafes etc.
- In addition, the suspension of air and sea connections with Turkey, Albania and North Macedonia is extended until August 15. An extension was also announced regarding current measures on land border entry points until 15 August, as well as the entry rules for those arriving by air from Bulgaria, Romania and the United Arab Emirates.
- The Transport Ministry is taking new measures to avoid overcrowding on public transport, emphasizing that the images seen in the last few days are a cause for concern and that citizens’ complaints are justified. To this end, the process of revoking the leave of public transport staff began on Thursday night. More specifically, 20 percent of total vacation time will be granted in August to staff of the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA), the Athens Urban Rail Transport Company (STASY) and Attica’s bus and trolley bus operator (OSY). As of Saturday, public transport operators implement a special customized program to increase the frequencies of trains, buses and trolleybuses and to help the public in getting from place to place as much as possible.
- Police continue their intensive checks for violations of social distancing guidelines in the island holiday hotspots of Paros, Mykonos and Santorini. Arrests have been made. On the island of Paros, six nightclubs were raided; police shut down one of those for 15 days because of overcrowding and fined its owner 3,000 euros. At Mykonos, a man who leased a villa was arrested for hosting a party; police also inspected 9 beach bars and 17 businesses in the town center.
- Cyprus will introduce compulsory testing for all arrivals from Greece from Aug. 6, health authorities said on Sunday, after a spike in coronavirus infections in Greece over the past week. The health ministry said any travellers from Greece would be required to show a negative PCR test conducted within 72 hours of travel to Cyprus. Cypriots and permanent residents of Cyprus could opt for a test at airports upon their arrival. The eastern Mediterranean island is thought to be one of the first countries to introduce the tests on arrivals from Greece since the lockdown eased. Greece still displays significantly lower infection rates than other European countries. The move comes at the height of the holiday season.
- Managers and medics at the Taxiarchai clinic in Peristeri, western Athens, have been charged with criminal misconduct following the rapid spread of coronavirus among elderly patients at the facility in April, with 13 of the 35 infections proving fatal. Following a weeks-long investigation into the five clinic employees, and interviews with more than 25 witnesses, Court of First Instance prosecutor Nikos Antonarakos brought criminal charges against the five with a trial date yet to be set. The defendants face serious sentences if found guilty of criminal misconduct, ranging from a minimum prison term of 10 years to life.
TRAVEL Athens International Airport (AIA) has announced that it will offer coronavirus (Covid-19) testing, upon request, to the traveling public and airport staff as of Wednesday, August 5. The initiative will be carried out in cooperation with the Athens Medical Center in an aim to deal effectively with the Covid-19 pandemic. According to an announcement by AIA, arriving or departing passengers and any employee of the airport can get a diagnostic molecular test (rRT-PCR), daily from 7am to 11pm, at facilities that will be set up at the Arrivals Level, between entrances 2 & 3. The results of the PCR tests taken at Athens Airport will be available in 6 hours after samples are taken.