As of the latest update by the Greek authorities yesterday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece is 4,193. Greece’s National Organization for Public Health (EODY) announced on Wednesday one new fatality in the past 24 hours in the country which raised the total number to 202 since the start of the outbreak. The number of patients treated in intensive care units stands at 9, while 127 patients have left the intensive care unit. Of the 27 new cases of coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, 4 concerned arriving travelers.
Passengers flying to Athens from Bulgaria and Romania will as of Tuesday be obliged to provide proof of a negative molecular test (PCR) result for Covid-19 taken up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece, authorities have said. The certificates must be in English and bear the traveler’s name and passport/national ID number. The government announced the decision following a recent surge in coronavirus infections in the Balkan nations. The measure does not apply to Greek citizens, permanent residents of Greece and people visiting “for essential professional reasons.
If all goes well, a vaccine against the coronavirus may be available for commercial sale at the beginning of 2021, according to experts. A team has already been put together by the Health Ministry whose purpose is to examine the data of the most promising vaccines and negotiate quantities and prices with their producers. The president of the National Organization for Medicines (EOF) said the arrival of a sufficient number of vaccines in each country will depend on the production capacity of the companies developing them and whether they prove effective.
In the meantime, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said vaccination against coronavirus – when it becomes available – will not be mandatory, but “strongly recommended”. The minister added that vulnerable segments of the population, the old and the seriously sick, will have priority, although he denied there will be a problem with the availability of vaccines. “Who are they? Our older fellow citizens and vulnerable groups fulfilling the conditions to be vaccinated as a priority,” Kikilias told TV station Skai Saturday. In case of a second wave of the pandemic, the state will take whatever measures necessary to protect those most vulnerable to the disease.
The ancient theater of Epidaurus has reopened for a limited number of open-air performances, with organizers planning a live-streamed event Saturday for the first time in the Greek monument’s 2,300-year history. Live concerts and events have been mostly canceled in Greece this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Culture Ministry allowed the Epidaurus Theater in southern Greece and the Odeon of Herod Atticus in Athens to host performances under strict safety guidelines. “Only 45% of the seats are occupied, the refreshments areas are closed, there is no intermission, and tickets are only issued electronically,” said Maria Panagiotopoulou, spokeswoman for the cultural organization which organized the events.
Acts from abroad were off-limits due to the pandemic, and the scheduled artists were instructed not to give encores. Stewards wearing surgical gloves and plastic visors keep spectators apart as they clamber up the steep stone amphitheater steps to find their seats. Just 4,500 of the usual 10,000 seats are being made available at Epidaurus Theatre, a honeycomb-colored stone venue with a shallow, half-funnel shape that allows music and voices from the stage to be clearly heard all 55 rows up.