Students wearing their obligatory masks walk into a school in Rafina, eastern Attica, for their first day of physical learning in several months, on Monday. [InTime News]
With Attica reporting the lion’s share of new coronavirus infections over recent weeks, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias on Monday said that additional restrictions may be imposed on specific municipal areas of the Greek capital, where and if this is deemed necessary.
“Half of the daily cases have been in Attica recently. Let me explain that Attica comprises 5 million people – that is half of Greece – so it is obvious that we would not consider taking unnecessary horizonal measures just like that, for the entire Attica Regional Unit,” Kikilias told broadcaster Open TV.
Apart from the capital and the port of Piraeus, the Attica Regional Unit also comprises the islands of the Saronic Gulf, a small part of the Peloponnese peninsula and a few islands off the eastern Peloponnese coast, including Kythira.
“EODY [National Organization for Public Health] and our scientists are responsible for analyzing the data and the Civil Protection Authority for implementing localized measures in areas experiencing outbreaks. So, as the picture becomes clearer on a scientific level, we will be able to intervene more locally, at the municipal level, so as to limit the possibility of a local surge,” Kikilias said, after EODY reported that 120 of Sunday’s 207 new coronavirus cases were concentrated in Attica.
The health minister was also speaking on the day that Greece’s schools reopened to pupils for the new academic year.
“The children’s health is my and our chief concern, both as minister of health and personally,” Kikilias said.
He said that specific procedures are in place to address a possible outbreak at schools and that a task force has been set up to respond to such an eventuality.
“Looking at other countries that opened their schools – like France, Spain, Germany and Israel – there have been problems. Health regulations are being revised on a daily basis, depending on new cases,” he said.