NEWS

Xanthi village locked down for third time

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Coronavirus, Health

Authorities on Thursday imposed a new curfew on Echinos in Xanthi, northern Greece after dozens of coronavirus infections were traced in the small village in less than a week.

It was the third time that such restrictive measures have been imposed on the community after several infections were confirmed last week and in late March. The latest spate involved 73 new cases of Covid-19 and four deaths among residents, prompting authorities to impose a new week-long curfew.

Residents of Echinos have been instructed to stay at home for the next seven days, during which all shops be closed except pharmacies and supermarkets, while the use of a face mask will be compulsory in public places. Food and medicine will be delivered to homes by trucks.

Although Greece’s containment efforts appeared to be holding elsewhere, the region of Xanthi is proving more of a challenge. Of the 24 new Covid-19 infections announced on Thursday, 18 were in Xanthi and two in nearby Rodopi, with the remaining four involving people arriving in Greece from abroad. One more coronavirus patient died on Thursday, nudging the death toll up to 188.

The first time that Echinos was put under curfew was in March, with the spike in cases then linked to the return to Xanthi of around 500 workers from France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The more recent outbreaks have been linked to overcrowding on religious holidays and by arrivals from abroad, chiefly by road over the Greek-Bulgarian border by people wanting to avoid the obligatory 14-day quarantine, though Kathimerini understands that the government has rebuffed those reports.

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