A 76-year-old monk died of Covid-19 complications and authorities placed six monasteries on Mount Athos under quarantine following an outbreak of the disease.
“The situation is under control. A total of six Monasteries are currently in quarantine, which is in fact coming to an end. Several infection cases among the monks have been recently reported. Last Saturday, a 76-year-old monk with underlying health issues died,” the commander of Mount Athos, Athanasios Martinos, told grtimes.gr.
According to Mr. Martinos, a total of seven monks are currently being treated in hospitals; four of them in Thessaloniki and three Polygyros, one of them has also underlying health problems.
“The rest are monitored with oxymeters by the Health Center in Karyes. Only one monk with mobility problems was not taken to hospital but he is also being monitored,” Martinos said.
Asked whether the measures are faithfully applied in the Monasteries and cells of Mount Athos, where a total of 1200-1300 monks and 400-500 monks live respectively, he said that this did not happen in all cases with the result that in some monasteries almost everyone is infected.
Rapid test tests at the entrance gates of the Athonite peninsula
“Recently, several cases appeared and so checks began at the entrance gates. So far, three positive cases have been identified, one sailor and two workers, who were asymptomatic and were not allowed to enter “, he noted.
The Health Center in the so-called Monks’ Republic and the Monasteries had been supplied with rapid tests for those developing symptoms and to ‘suspected cases.’
It is reminded that from Monday, December 7, visits by visitors are not allowed on Mt Athos. However, entry is allowed to those employed in ongoing projects as well as to civil servants working there.
There have been a few infections in the past (September) but no outbreak to this extent.
On November 18, dozens of monks gathered for a liturgy against the pandemic. None of them was wearing a mask or kept safety distance. Responding to criticism, monks from the Vatopedi Monastery that hosted the service told MEGA TV that chanters and priests could not perform wearing masks.
PS My cat would say: “This did not age well.” But she is mean, like many Greeks who have turned bitter in their struggle to protect themselves and others, the long lockdown restrictions and the solitude.
I guess that this monk did not get the Holy Communion, because – according to Panteleimon, the bishop of Xanthi – it shields against Covid-19. Quod erat demonstrandum !