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Greece Halts All Flights to Italy Because of Coronavirus

Greece has suspended all remaining flights to and from Italy after the government discussed additional measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The temporary suspension will remain in force until March 29. Cargo and sanitary flights are exempt from the ban.

According to the latest information provided by Worldometers, Italy is the country with the most active coronavirus cases: 17,660. Out of that number, 1,266 deaths and 1,439 recoveries have been recorded. The entire country is under lockdown.

Greece’s decision was announced on Saturday during a wide-ranging meeting chaired by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Maximou Mansion in Athens.

During Saturday’s meeting, which was attended by a number of ministers including Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, the need for further measures was stressed in order for overcrowding to be avoided in public places that remain open such as super markets.

Regarding public transport, it was underlined that passenger traffic should be limited to some 50 percent of ridership.

Moreover, the government decided to increase the staff of the National Public Health Organization’s 1135 coronavirus hotline and explored ways for the ‘Home Aid’ program – which is run by municipalities – to provide additional services to the elderly.

Also, the process of strengthening the country’s health system with more doctors and nurses was discussed. To date, 248 doctors and nurses have been hired and another 929 are in the process of being hired this week.

The government announced that starting Sunday, March 15, briefings on the developments concerning the coronavirus will be provided every day at 6pm to the public by Health Ministry spokesman and infectious diseases expert, Professor Sotiris Tsiodras, and the secretary general for civil protection, Nikos Chardalias.

It was also decided that stricter controls will be enforced on those who violate the law by showing anti-social behavior during this time.

In addition, later on Saturday, the Greek PM announced the closure of organized beaches and ski resorts throughout Greece.

Greece has 228 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The country is counting three deaths from the virus.

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