Update – 05/08/2020
August 5, 2020
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 4,855. 121 were the new coronavirus cases announced yesterday. The total number of fatalities remains at 209. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 13, while 129 patients have exited the intensive care unit.
In his first televised briefing in nearly two months, the government’s chief epidemiologist Sotiris Tsiodras on Tuesday stressed the need for strict observance of health measures to prevent a new spike in coronavirus infections from getting out of hand as authorities confirmed 121 new cases, the largest number since April 22. “Things can easily spiral out of control,” Tsiodras said, noting that a continued increase of cases at the current rate could bring a second wave of the virus within two weeks.
Although foreign arrivals have contributed to the new spike, Tsiodras said the data indicates that most infections are domestic, pointing to widespread community transmission. Indeed, the epidemiologist said Greece’s coronavirus R number (which measures the rate of the virus’ reproduction) has risen to 1, from 0.4 in mid-July. “If this continues, each new case entering a community will constitute a new chain of continued infection,” he said, adding that efforts must be made to ensure the R number drops below 1. Tsiodras, who wore a face mask at Tuesday’s press conference, recommended the use of masks in crowded open areas when there is not enough social distancing as well as all closed areas.
Regarding yesterday’s cases:
- 5 were detected during the tests carried out at Greece’s entry points
- 7 are imported cases, which requested testing voluntarily
- 26 cases were detected in the regional unit of Attica
- 47 cases were detected in the regional unit of Thessaloniki
- 8 cases were detected in the regional unit of Chalkidiki
- 8 cases were detected in the regional unit of Larisa
- 7 cases were detected in the regional unit of Kerkyra
- 2 cases were detected in the regional unit of Imathia
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Kavala
- 2 cases were detected in the regional unit of Serres
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Arcadia
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Achaia
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Drama
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Evros
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Euboea
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Pella
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Kozani
- 1 case was detected in the regional unit of Chios
- A return to telework and staggered shifts is on the cards for civil servants in the public sector and at municipal authorities due to the spike in the coronavirus pandemic, according to Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos. It was not announced exactly when the measure will be implemented, but Theodorikakos said on Tuesday that he has already discussed the issue with Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias and infectious disease specialist and government adviser Sotiris Tsiodras. At the same time, civil servants belonging to vulnerable groups will have the right to work remotely. The new measures will limit contact with the public, which will, for certain transactions, visit public sector offices by appointment only.
- Intensified health safety checks to ensure that the public and professionals are abiding by stricter regulations regarding the use of masks led to 615 fines being issues in just three days from August 1-3, with 120 of those located in the Greek capital. Police have also been focusing on public transportation like city buses, the metro and KTEL intercity buses to, carrying out 1,039 on Saturday alone, where compliance appears better as just 18 mask violations were reported. On Monday, a crackdown on taxis in Athens led to 30 violations being recorded in 385 checks and they all concerned either drivers or passengers not wearing a mask.
- Travellers arriving or departing from Thessaloniki’s international airport will be able to do a molecular test to determine whether they have been infected by the novel coronavirus as of August 21, the airport operator said on Tuesday. The airport has teamed up with the Interbalkan Medical Centre in Thessaloniki to set up a small medical unit in departures to test tourists, Fraport Greece said. The test will cost 70 euros and the result will be announced about six hours after taking the sample. The service will be available Monday to Sunday, from 8.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.