Greece’s Civil Protection announced on Wednesday evening that a stricter lockdown is imposed on the island of Kalymnos in the Dodecanese in the south-eastern Aegean Sea.
The decision has been taken following evaluation of the epidemiological load data, the age stratification of the inhabitants of the island, the results of tests and trace data, a statement said.
The stricter lockdown is imposed “for urgent reasons to address a serious public health risk and in particular to limit the spread of Covid-19,” the statement added.
The restrictive measures are:
Prohibition of movement outside the island of Kalymnos, except for health reasons
From 18:00 to 05:00 ban on any movement of citizens within the island
Suspension of religious ceremonies
Suspension of stores operation (retail, etc)
The South Aegean Regional government and the Municipality of Kalymnos are in charge for the supply and provision of basic necessities (food, medicine, etc.) to the inhabitants of the island and for any kind of assistance in cases of inhabitants who are chronically ill and distressed.
The Fire Service will assist where necessary, the regional police will control if the measures and restrictions are observed.
The restrictive measures are valid from 6:00 a.m. Thursday, 31. December 2020 until Saturday, 9. January 2021, when the relevant health committees will meet to evaluate the epidemiological data, the statement said.
Outbreak over Christmas
The island had zero infections in the first three week of December and 49 Covid-19 cases in last eight days.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, the Mayor of Kalymnos Dimitris Diakomichalis said that there have been four clusters, ie four families who did not observed the measures as they should.
The infected had mild symptoms and were in isolation at home, he said.
The prefect of the island, Manolis Mousellis told newspaper ethnos that meanwhile the infections had reach 37 in an island of 16,000 permanent residents.
The majority of infections were in Prodromos neighborhood in Chora and in Pothia.
According to initial media information the outbreak came with two visitors who came on the island to attend an engagement event.
The couple that was apparently targeted in the small community told STAR TV that they were engaged two years ago.
STAR TV reported that 6 of the (initially) infected are members of the couple’s family. Two more are locals who returned to Kalymnos from Crete where they visited their son. The last two reportedly attended the religious service and received also the holy Communion on Christmas Day. A priest confirmed to STAR that there were some 100 people in the church of Agios Ioannis. He said “People believe that with the Holy Communion there is no fear to contract the virus.”
Note that under the lockdown restrictions across the country, up to 25 people were allowed to attend religious services in normal churches and up to 50 in Metropolises on Christmas Day. On other days believers are not allowed in churches.
Mousellis said that the majority of the inhabitants did not believe that there is a coronavirus and those who believe do not observe the protection measures.He added that they ignore the seriousness of the situation.
According to local newspaper kalymnosnews, from Dec 22 to Dec 30, the number of infections has reached 49.