Public health officials on Wednesday started tracing everyone believed to have come into close contact with Greece’s ninth confirmed coronavirus case, who recently traveled to Israel and Egypt as part of a group.
The 65-year-old Greek man is being treated in isolation at a hospital in Patra, western Greece. Among those to be tracked down and tested are 53 people who had traveled on the same bus as him.
According to sources, the man is being treated for a serious respiratory infection. He visited a hospital in Amaliada on Sunday and was referred to Patra’s University Hospital where he was initially kept in an open ward as he had not been admitted as a potential coronavirus case. He was eventually quarantined after testing positive for the virus but authorities are concerned that he might have infected hospital staff and fellow travelers on his trip to Israel and Egypt at the end of last month.
Earlier in the day, authorities reported another case in the northern port city of Thessaloniki – a “middle-aged” man who is reportedly related to a previously confirmed case, the 38-year-old Thessaloniki woman who was Greece’s “patient zero” for the virus.
In comments to reporters on Tuesday, Athens University professor Sotiris Tsiodras, who heads the expert committee advising the government on its response to the virus, said the chance of sharp increases in cases was unlikely but that authorities had set up “surveillance systems precisely for this purpose, to ensure that we are one step ahead of developments.”