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Covid-19: Caution Urged for Residents of 5 Greek Areas

Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.

Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias.

Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias on Friday urged the residents of Rhodes, Mytilini, Trizinia, Chania and Syros to be extra cautious due to the latest Covid-19 data released  for those areas.

Speaking to journalists during Friday’s Covid-19 media briefing, Hardalias said that although the overall epidemiological data of the country is at a good level, with all indicators showing that the third wave of the pandemic is in recession, there is concern for five areas due to local data.

“The local epidemiological data is showing either a small or a large increase, rather than a decrease, of the viral load,” he stressed.

According to the minister, in the last five days, active cases have increased in the Municipality of Rhodes by 43 percent, in the Municipality of Mytilini by 36 percent and in the regional unit of Syros by 50 percent.

Mytilini town, Lesvos. Photo © Koutrolm / Wikimedia Commons

The deputy minister also referred to an increase of the viral load in the Municipality of Trizinia, while in the Municipality of Chania, active cases are at 213 when on May 20 they were at 169.

“We appeal to the residents of Rhodes, Mytilene, Trizinia, Chania and Syros, to be extremely careful and consistent with health measures and protocols to prevent a further spread of the virus,” Hardalias said, adding that the pandemic is not over.

“Any improvement of the overall epidemiological data has been achieved thanks to the country’s vaccination program and the observance of safety measures… and this must continue,” he said.

“Until the wall of immunity through vaccination is completed, health protocols and personal protection measures are our shield against the virus,” Hardalias reminded.

The deputy minister also announced that the government will impose emergency Covid-19 restrictions if any area in Greece begins to see a spike in cases. Measures will include an extension of the curfew, further restrictions in restaurants and cafes and suspension of farmers markets and live events.

New source for Covid-19 data

Photo source: European Commission

During the briefing, Hardalias announced that a new source for the latest reliable data concerning the course of the Covid-19 pandemic in Greece will be available to citizens from May 31 through the websites of covid-19.gov.gr, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection and the National Public Health Organization (EODY).

According to Hardalias, all citizens will be able to monitor four critical indicators:

– the positivity index (ie the positive cases in terms of the tests carried out in each area)
– the number of cases per 100,000 residents on a 7-day rolling basis
– the upward, downward or steady trend of cases compared to the previous week
– the vaccination progress of the population of each region in Greece with at least one dose.

“The indicators will give a clear picture of the course of the pandemic and the necessary measures to be taken in case of a local outbreak that is considered dangerous by the team of epidemiologists and tracers of civil protection and EODY,” he said.

Gyms to Reopen on May 31

Hardalias also announced that gyms and other open sports facilities in the country will reopen as of Monday, May 31, under hygiene measures.

Referring to the compulsory face-mask rule in gyms, the deputy minister said that announcements will be made on the matter.

In addition, he said that from May 31, the percentage of compulsory telework in both the private and public sector will be in force for 25 percent (from 50 percent) of employees.

The Hellenic National Public Health Organization (EODY) on Friday announced 1,585 new coronavirus cases and 40 deaths. The number of intubated patients in Greece’s ICUs is 521, according to EODY. Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country has reached 398,898. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 11,995.

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