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Mayor of Ikaria to sue 25-year-old man for bringing COVID-19 on the island

The entire island of Ikaria in the Aegean is on alert. The locals are in panic and outrage, the  mayor threatens to sue a 25-year-old who despite his infection with COVID-19 traveled there and came in contact with the local population. 20 people in the villages of Rahes and Agios Polykarpos have been placed in “house isolation” after health authorities tracked the young man’s contacts, a ferry company alerted other passengers as he traveled to the island per ferry.

The young man had returned to Athens from London on Maarch 12 and traveled to Ikaria together with his girl friend. A few days later he reportedly had fever, headache and cough. He was tested positive to COVID-19 and was transferred per ambulance helicopter of the Greek Air Force to a hospital in the Greek capital.

He left behind his girl friend, now in house isolation, and a community of some 8,500 people condemning him.

“We are going to prosecute him legally,” Mayor of Ikaria Nikos Kalambogias , told the Star TV.

“It is criminal […]. The whole island has gone nuts, the whole society. We are a small remote island, we do not have intensive care units, we do not have negative pressure chambers. We suddenly realized that the virus has come to our island, it knocks at our door and we are defenseless. It is obviously that we have gone nuts, that the whole society is upset,” the mayor said.

“He is not a child, he is a young man in full responsibility,” the mayor added.

According to local media, the young man arrived in Athens on March 12 and embarked on ferry Blue Star Mykonos together with his girl friend, an EU-national. on March 20. The couple’s destination was Ikaria where the man’s family has a cottage.

As if he should not be in house isolation for 14 days, he started strolling around the island, shop in supermarkets and bakeries, calling electricians to fix issues in the cottage.

On March 25, he felt unwell, sought the local health center. He was tested positive on coronavirus.

Upon the positive test result, the mayor of Ikaria immediately order disinfection in the villages of Rahes and Agios Polykarpos, and everywhere else, inside and outside, where the young man had been while on the island.

Fines of 5,000 euros are imposed to those violating the “house isolation,” prison sentences of up to 5 years if they endanger the community and expose it to risk of contamination and up to 15 years if they know that they are positive and contact a person who later dies.

The mayor of Ikaria advised the 123 passengers who arrived with the BSM ferry to stay in house isolation until April 5.

Authorities reportedly try to track a total of 300 passengers on board of the ferry that was sailing to nine island destinations in the Aegean Sea. On board were 527 passengers and 57 crew.

It should be noted that Greek health authorities ordered 14-day “house isolation” to travelers from abroad, especially from UK, on March 18, 2020. Before it was just recommendation.

On March 20, authorities imposed an islands travel ban to non-permanent residents, the decision went into effect at 6;00 a.m. March 21.

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