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20 May, 2024
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Covid-19 cases in Greece jump to 31

A 65-year-old confirmed carrier seems to have infected 21 fellow travellers during a recent religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The total number of the new coronavirus cases in Greece has risen to 31, after 21 more people who came in contact with the country’s ninth confirmed case tested positive, Greek Health Ministry spokesman Dimitris Tsiodras said in press briefing on Thursday.

Nine of the new patients were being treated in a hospital in Rio, a suburb of Patras, with three of them showing serious symptoms, he told journalists.

Due to the number of new cases, the region of Amaliada, in western Greece, is entering Phase 2 of the ministry's health risk containment strategy, which means that official measures will now focus on containing the virus from spreading to the rest of the country.

The new cases emerged as health authorities traced and tested everyone believed to have come into close contact with the 65-year-old Greek man who is being treated at an isolation unit at a hospital in Patras, western Greece.

These contacts include 53 people who had traveled on the same bus as him during a recent religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt.

According to sources, the man is being treated for a serious respiratory infection. The 65-year-old’s wife has also tested positive and was the tenth reported case.

Tsiodras said doctors have tested 21 of the man’s fellow travellers and identified more than 400 of his contacts and tested those who were deemed suspicious. Authorities are also tracing all the contacts of the new cases.

At the same time, he said authorities expect a “significant increase” in the number of confirmed cases in the coming weeks and urged citizens to “adhere religiously” to the preventive measures announced by the experts.

Greek Health Minister: Disregarding measures against COVID-19 can prove 'fatal'

Greek Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias on Thursday criticised people who dismissed instructions issued by the country’s authorities on how to contain the spread Covid-19, after it was reported that some regions of Greece held carnival parades despite their official ban.

“Individual behaviors that do not comply with the instructions of scientists, epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and the decisions taken by the Greek government can be fatal for fellow citizens who belong to vulnerable  groups,” he told journalists after a visit to Athens Gennimatas hospital.

Kikilias inspected the installation of so-called “isolation boxes,” a type of containers that will function as first reception areas where patients showing suspicious symptoms will be quarantined until tests shows if they have infected by the Covid-19.

If they test positive, they will be transferred to the hospital’s negative pressure rooms and if not they will check out.

Similar isolation boxes, which include beds, will be placed in other hospitals ready to treat coronavirus cases. 

Kikilias called on elderly citizens and those with preexisting health conditions to stay at home and call their doctor if they show any suspicious symptoms.

Greece  |  coronavirus  |  COVID-19  |  health

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