UPDATE: On Thursday, March 5, the Greek Health Ministry announced that the number of Greece’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased to 31.
The Greek government on Tuesday said it would be enacting emergency response measures to the coronavirus this week that will include the right to impose controls at all of the country’s entry and exit points, as well as to temporarily restrict in part or completely access to Greece by air, sea, rail or road from Covid-19-affected countries.
Cases of corona virus-infected individuals have emerged in neighboring Italy and Spain.
The five-article legislative act also foresees the closure of schools, universities, places of worship, theaters, cinemas, sports and arts venues, public services and of enclosed public spaces, as well as enforcing restrictions on public transport.
The emergency measures, to be administered should there be an Covid-19 incident in Greece, are meant to give health ministry authorities the flexibility to take immediate actions, Government Spokesman Stelios Petsas told a press conference this week.
He added that Greek authorities were in ongoing communication with the World Health Organization and relevant EU bodies.
Other items covered in the act include the requisition of private clinics, intensive care units and other health facilities, as well as hotels and private accommodation units for quarantine purposes.
The law also foresees the transfer of medical and ambulance personnel to priority areas, as well as fast-track funding for the procurement of medicines or the recruitment of extra nursing, healthcare and medical staff.
“We remain calm and are implementing the measures we decided on and are on high alert ready to do whatever is necessary to protect public health,” Petsas said.
In the meantime, the ministry has designated 13 reference hospitals with all other hospitals, health centers, and the Committee of Infectious Diseases on standby.