As the European Union raised the risk of the coronavirus, or Covid-19, from moderate to high, and with the number of cases in Greece rising to seven over the weekend, authorities have stepped up a public information campaign as part of their efforts to ward against a spread of the virus.
With the Health Ministry confirming three new cases over the weekend, the total number of coronavirus infections in the country rose to seven. Four of the infections related to people who had traveled to northern Italy – the European country that has been affected the most by the virus – and the other three are relatives of Greeks infected in Italy. The patients were being treated in hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki and, according to sources, display only mild symptoms.
In all cases, experts with the National Health Organization (EODY) have traced those who came into close contact with the patients – namely those who have spent at least 15 minutes in close proximity with them – and have submitted them to tests.
Greek officials have urged all those who have traveled to Italy, or China, where the virus first appeared, and who have symptoms of the coronavirus – high temperature, cough, shortness of breath – to contact EODY on tel 210.521.2054. The organization has already received some 40,000 calls since last Wednesday when Greece’s first case of coronavirus was confirmed. With the coordination of EODY, a total of 504 people have been tested for the virus.
Meanwhile the Health Ministry has intensified its public awareness campaign, issuing messages on television and social media aimed at ensuring that people observe basic hygiene rules, notably washing their hands regularly, to avert the spread of the virus. The ministry also sent an informative statement to taxpayers using the Independent Authority for Public Revenue’s (AADE) database.
Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias urged Greek citizens to take a responsible stance and help authorities stop the spread of the coronavirus. “Using the guidelines given by the experts, every individual has to protect him and herself,” he said.