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Greece concerned of rising imported cases, relaxation of protection measures

Concern is growing about the possibility of coronavirus clusters in the summer as over 20 tourists have been tested positive since June 15, when the two major airports in Athens and Thessaloniki opened for several countries. The number of daily confirmed cases at the airports remains one-digit, however, there is also concern that other carriers of the virus have arrived who have not been checked at the airports.

It is noted that testing on flights passengers coming from low-risk European countries is not mandatory.

Yet, many passengers come from high-risk countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom and arrived in Greece via transit airports from another European airport that is not on mandatory check list, writes news website tvxsgr.

Since June 15, when the Greek borders were opened, a total of 166 new cases have been reported, 30 of them are imported.

A total of 35,000 tests have been carried out since mid-June, or about 4,380 a day.

Given that significant importance has been given to the population in northern Greece where many cases have been, testing corresponding to citizens entering Greece is less. So the possibility that infection cases have “escaped” is very likely, the website notes.

Meanwhile, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Nikos Sypsas, is ringing the “bell” for the evolution of the corona pandemic. Speaking to Skai TV on Μonday, he noted that the citizens have relaxed and that the number of infected tourists is increasing.

“They listen to fake news and think that they can go out. People are wondering if it [lockdown] was worth it and that’s worrying because we’re not done with the virus. ”

As he noted for Greece, the first wave has passed but there is a risk of resurgence.

“The virus is all around us, it is in the society, we see it with the outbreaks locally, for example in Thrace, in  Thesprotia. We have the imported cases that are increasing,” he warned.

Regarding the images of overcrowding on ships, he said that “if this crowd has people infected, the virus will spread and if the people disembark on a island, the news is bad. It could be a major local pandemic,” Sypsas said pointing out that the virus is spread even by asymptomatic patients.

The professor said that the R0 transmission index in Greece is currently low, at about half. He warned of possible increase of the curve and stressed that in Greece less than 1% of the population has antibodies. This is, no one.”

Sypsas, who is also committee member at the National Health Organization stressed that goal is to avoid a second wave in summer.

Does anyone still care? It looks as if it is mostly the young people who do not. Last weekend, they crowded until the early morning hours of Sunday in a bar in south Athens.

In Patras, they organized free beach parties to avoid restrictions in bars and other entertainment facilities. They went with their own drinks and food.

Last Saturday, it was 2,000 people, the Saturday before 1,000. Nobody wore a mask or kept the safety distance.

How about you? Do you still use some safety measures like wearing a mask?

Following the gradual lifting of restrictions, you wear mask

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  1. Grahame Chambers

    It is much more important now than before that people continue to pay attention to the distancing, hand washing & mask wearing – it would be a huge shame if Greece’s so far excellent position regarding coronavirus is ruined because of complacency & laziness. Please, continue to take care of yourself & each other!!

  2. Jennene Beuvink

    Why are arrivals not being selected for testing on the basis of country of origin? A lot of travelers will have a transit flight. Show itinerary for inbound processing?
    Greece has done an excellent job at protecting its citizens. The list of countries issued by authorities based on epidemiology should be strictly adhered to so as to allow gradual return of tourism while protecting the citizens of Greece. The story in your publication of the young girl in Rhodes is heartbreaking.

    • People from the UK already finding ways to arrive in Crete bragging of no testing and no quarantine. As an English person living permanently on the island I find it absolutely disgusting that people can be so selfish!