An Athens prosecutor launched an investigation on Thursday into whether criminal charges should be brought against the management of a private clinic in Peristeri, western Athens, after 37 people – 20 patients and 17 health professionals – tested positive for Covid-19, with three subsequently dying.
According to Health Ministry spokesman Sotiris Tsiodras, the 20 patients have been transferred to Athens hospitals for treatment while the 17 employees, who had not displayed any symptoms of the virus up until Friday, have been instructed to stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
A total of 121 people that the positive cases came into contact with have also been told to remain in home quarantine, as have 39 doctors who work with the clinic, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said.
Meanwhile a prosecutor’s probe is seeking to determine whether health and safety regulations at the clinic were overlooked and whether the virus was transmitted to patients who visited the facility for dialysis treatment.
Judicial officials reportedly confiscated patients’ files as well as records on admissions and discharges while they will also be investigating the clinic’s health and safety certificate.
A delegation from Greece’s National Transparency Authority is conducting a parallel investigation into the clinic’s operation. If any of the clinic’s management are found guilty of gross negligence, they could face long prison sentences, even life terms.
Another probe has been launched into a clinic in Glyfada, southern Athens, where a case of coronavirus was reported, and a prosecutor in Piraeus is looking into an anonymous complaint there relating to a hospital in the area alleged to have covered up cases.
Tsiodras on Friday announced 27 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total nationwide to 2,490. Another five infected people died in the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 130, he said.