Number of coronavirus cases in Greece rises to 9


The Health Ministry announced that the number of Greece’s confirmed coronavirus cases has increased to nine.

The man, who had recently traveled to Israel and Egypt, is now in quarantine at a hospital in Patra in the Peloponnese. 

Public health officials have begun tracing the patient's other close contacts to ensure that appropriate measures are in place.

Earlier in the day, authorities reported another case in the northern port city of Thessaloniki – a middgle-aged man who is related to a previously confirmed case that remains in an isolation unit.

In comments made Tuesday, Sotiris Tsiodras, the head of the committee of experts on contagious diseases who is advising the government on its response to the virus, Greece is still in “phase 1” of the Covid-19 epidemic, as only sporadic cases related to travel to affected areas have been reported so far.

However, measures are already being taken to address the second phase of the virus – namely, its spread through the community – with the closure of schools and the cancellation of traditional Carnival celebrations.

So far 30 schools have been closed temporarily as a precaution.