With Covid-19 cases at 84, those with symptoms urged to stay home


As the number of coronavirus cases in the country rose to 84 on Monday with 11 new infections identified, health authorities called on people with symptoms of the virus to stay at home and avoid exposing others to potential infection. Of the 84 people infected with Covid-19, 81 are Greeks and three are foreign nationals, Health Ministry spokesman Sotiris Tsiodras told reporters. 

Forty-seven of the new cases took part in a group trip to religious sites in Israel and Egypt at the end of last month and another nine were people infected from contact with them, Tsiodras said. For four of the new cases, no source of infection has been confirmed, he added. Apart from Attica and Thessaloniki, the coronavirus cases are located in Ileia, Achaia, Zakynthos, Evia and Lesvos.

Of the 84 patients, 27 are being treated in hospital and 57 have been told to remain in isolation at their homes and are said to be “in good health.”

Tsiodras issued a “strong recommendation” to citizens belonging to vulnerable groups to avoid unnecessary trips home and abroad, particularly those who are aged over 70, those who have heart and breathing problems or diabetes and those who take medication to suppress the immune system.

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias struck a similar note, calling on citizens to stay at home if they have symptoms of the coronavirus – fever, cough and respiratory problems. “The next two months will be critical,” he said. 

A new public awareness campaign for vulnerable social groups, launched on Monday night by the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, reiterated Kikilias’ message. Its slogan is: “We’re not scared. We protect ourselves. We stay at home.” 

Meanwhile, health authorities announced new measures to curb the spread of the virus, canceling all cultural events in closed venues scheduled to draw more than 1,000 people.

Separately, in Pyrgos in the Peloponnese, a prosecutor launched an investigation after the local mayor, Panagiotis Antonakopoulos, claimed that people who had been in contact with members of the group who traveled to Israel and Egypt and who are supposed to be in isolation have been spotted out and about, potentially exposing others to infection.