Update – 07/08/2020
August 7, 2020
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 5,123. The number of new Covid-19 infections reported in Greece hit a fresh high on Thursday at 153 after Wednesday’s 124. The death toll remained stable at 210. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 14, while 129 patients have exited the intensive care unit.
During a press briefing on Thursday, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that there are three main areas of concern. The first, he said, regards ethnic Greeks and others making frequent trips to and from the Balkans, “as though there is nothing wrong, ignoring the epidemic outbreaks in those countries.” The second cause of the sudden increase observed in recent days, Petsas added, appears to be crowding at bars and big social events, while public transportation is the third.
Of the 153 new cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday, 40 were in the region of Attica and its islands and 38 in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, pointing to the impact of lax attitudes toward physical distancing and mask-wearing. 18 of the new cases concerned travelers coming or returning from abroad, while an outbreak at a wedding in Alexandroupoli in northern Greece last month resulted in 4 more people becoming infected in Evros. Including Attica and Thessaloniki, the number of regions affected rose to 20, from 18 on Wednesday, confirming fears that the novel coronavirus is not only spreading faster but also further.
Regarding the rest of yesterday’s cases:
- 11 were detected during the tests carried out at Greece’s entry points
- 7 are imported cases, which requested testing voluntarily
- 2 cases were detected in Argolida
- 2 cases were detected in Achaia
- 3 cases were detected in Ilia
- 1 case was detected in Thesprotia
- 2 cases were detected in Ioannina
- 2 cases were detected in Kavala
- 3 cases were detected in Kerkyra
- 1 case was detected in Kilkis
- 1 case was detected in Kozani
- 3 cases were detected in Corinthia
- 9 cases were detected in Cyclades
- 14 cases were detected in Larissa
- 2 cases were detected in Magnesia
- 3 cases were detected in Pella
- 1 case was detected in Messinia
- 3 cases were detected in Chalkidiki
- 1 case was detected in Chania
- Strict containment measures went into effect on the Saronic Gulf island of Poros on Friday after 13 people were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The measures include a curfew shutting down all businesses from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following day, a ban on public and private gatherings of any kind involving more than 9 people, the suspensions of farmers’ markets, villages festivals and other such public gatherings, as well as a cap of four (or six if they belong to the same household) on the number of people allowed to sit at the same cafe or restaurant table. Masks have also been made mandatory in all public spaces, indoor and out. The restrictions will apply through August 17 at least, pending a fresh assessment of the course of the outbreak on the island, which belongs administratively to the Region of Attica.
- The Hellenic Police (ELAS) said on Thursday that it recorded 390 violations of rules concerning the use of masks and the observance of prescribed physical distancing on Wednesday. In a statement it said that, as part of inspections for the implementation of measures to prevent and limit the spread of the coronavirus, it conducted 15,999 inspections throughout the country on Wednesday. Each violation incurred a €150 fines.
- Authorities sealed a popular beach bar in Mykonos after seven employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus, broadcaster Skai reported on Thursday. The infected employees were symptomatic, the report said without elaborating. Teams from the National Public Health Organization (EODY) run tests on a total of 80 people, all of whom were told to isolate in their residences regardless of their test results. They were also told that they will be tested again in the coming days.
- Aiming to limit the spread of coronavirus into Greece from the Balkans, the government announced on Thursday that the overnight closure of the border between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m at Kakavia will be extended as of Friday to all the land border crossings that remain open, with the sole exception of Promachonas. The measure will affect travel in the checkpoints of Kakavia (where the measure is in place since Wednesday), Krystallopigi, Evzoni, Nymfaia and Kipi. Speaking to journalists on Thursday, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said the decision was taken due to the frequent crossings of Greek nationals, ethnic Greeks and those who have a residence permit from Balkan countries.
- Faced with a pandemic spike, the government is working on a new package of measures, focusing on employment support in the affected sectors for the fall, as concern mounts over a rise in joblessness. According to reports, the government’s financial staff are looking at proposals for the provision of incentives for recruitment by companies, such as the coverage of part of the employer contributions by the state. The suspension of tax payments and the provision of liquidity to companies are also being considered. The new support measures are estimated to concern about 330,000 employees.
- What’s more, the government is planning a new legislative act which will make it possible for companies to put their employees on contract suspension until the end of September, which would make them eligible for a special state subsidy of up to 534 euros per month. The measures apply to private sector companies which are active in the fields of food, culture and sports, as well as any other domains affected by the pandemic. In addition, with the aim of creating new jobs, the new legislative act will also include a provision that will allow for the inclusion of more employees in the employment support mechanism known as Syn-Ergasia – a state subsidy program for part-time labor.
- Moreover, the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) is moving ahead with the the activation of 11 new programs and improvements to seven old ones with the aim of creating 127,000 jobs. These programs will target both developed and less developed regions of the country, and particularly young unemployed people as well as sectors that are at the forefront of the new digital economy.