Update – 21/08/2020
August 21, 2020
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 7,934. The new coronavirus cases hit another record high, as 269 infections were announced in the past 24 hours. The death toll remains stable at 235. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 30, while 140 patients have exited the intensive care unit.
Health authorities are increasingly concerned about an increase in coronavirus infections at hospitals despite regulations obliging all hospital staff returning from vacation to undergo diagnostic tests before getting back to work. At least 20 cases have been reported at two hospitals in Larissa, Central Greece, with another 14 testing positive at Thessaloniki’s AHEPA Hospital, prompting authorities to close the facility for disinfection until Saturday. There are also reports of smaller clusters of infections in other hospitals in the northern port city.
The problem was discussed on Wednesday during a teleconference chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that focused on ongoing efforts to contain the pandemic amid an upward trend in infections. It was decided that hospital directors will be instructed to ensure that all health protocols are being observed.
Regarding the cases reported yesterday:
- 11 were detected during the tests carried out at Greece’s entry points
- 8 are imported cases, which requested testing voluntarily
- 90 cases were detected in Attica region, 18 of which are related to recent travel within the country
- 67 cases were detected in Thessaloniki region, 2 of which are related to known influxes and 3 to recent travel within the country
- 1 case was detected in Argolida
- 1 case was detected in Arta
- 2 cases were detected in Drama
- 2 cases were detected in Dodecanese
- 1 case was detected in Evros
- 1 case was detected in Zakynthos
- 2 cases were detected in Ilia
- 7 cases were detected in Imathia
- 4 cases were detected in Heraklion
- 3 cases were detected in Ioannina
- 2 cases were detected in Karditsa
- 2 cases were detected in Kerkyra
- 3 cases were detected in Kefalonia, 2 of which are related to known influx
- 5 cases were detected in Kilkis
- 3 cases were detected in Kozani, 1 of which is related to recent travel within the country
- 15 cases were detected in Cyclades
- 3 cases were detected in Larissa
- 8 cases were detected in Lesvos
- 2 cases were detected in Pieria
- 1 case was detected in Rethymno
- 8 cases were detected in Pella
- 2 cases were detected in Serres
- 3 case were detected in Fthiotis
- 3 cases were detected in Florina
- 5 cases were detected in Chalkidiki
- 6 cases were detected in Chania
- The use of face masks will be mandatory for all pupils returning to school this fall, including kindergarten, Education Minister Niki Kerameus said on Thursday, adopting the advice of the government’s expert committee on the coronavirus. Their use will only be required indoors and not during gym class, she added today. However, children will have to wear it if there’s overcrowding in the school yard. Kerameus said an emphasis will be given to educating children and teachers about the correct use of face coverings in kindergarten and the first three grades of primary school. Detailed announcements on how each level of education will operate in fall will be made next Monday.
- Ahead of the scheduled reopening of Greek schools on September 7, the Greek Police’s cyber crimes division has launched an investigation into certain groups on Facebook that have been exhorting parents and children to defy authorities’ demands for the mandatory use of face masks by pupils to curb the spread of Covid-19. The probe was launched following Thursday’s press reports about the trend along with a plethora of anonymous complaints to the police by citizens. One of the groups has been urging parents and schoolchildren to defy official calls for the use of a mask with some members questioning the efficiency of the measure and others suggesting it could actually cause harm.
- Police on Mykonos raided a rented villa in the area of Ftelia, where a private party was under way in the early hours of Thursday morning. According to local reports, some 500 people had been in attendance at the party. Police arrested a man, believed to have been renting the property, on charges of disturbing the peace, as well as a Spanish couple who are both said to have been diagnosed with Covid-19 and were supposed to be in quarantine.
- A prosecutor on Thursday ordered a preliminary inquiry to see if anyone was at fault for the spread of the coronavirus in a second nursing home, Estia Papageorgiou, in Thessaloniki. On Wednesday, 15 elderly residents as well as seven staff members were diagnosed with Covid-19.
- Six police officers from two precincts in Athens and an unspecified number of detainees were placed in quarantine for two weeks Thursday after one of the men held in the cells tested positive for the coronavirus. On Thursday morning, the man, who was in detention at the police station in Omonia Square in central Athens, said he felt unwell and was taken to the Sotiria Hospital, where his infection was confirmed.
- The state may cover the cost of the Covid-19 vaccine on behalf of the insured once the doses reach Greece, Μinister Christos Staikouras said on Thursday. Asked by journalists on Skai whether the insured will have to pay from their pockets to get vaccinated, Staikouras said that Greece has secured funds to help both the economy and society and “if necessary, the ministry of finance is ready to assist in this direction.”