Greek health authorities are on the alert as coronavirus infections are on an upward curve, with most cases related to international travel, particularly from Balkan nations, and several new infections in tourist spots.
One case that fueled particular concern concerns a 50-year-old Serbian man who had been holidaying in Aidipsos on Evia. On feeling unwell earlier this week, he took a taxi to Lamia Hospital and was submitted to tests along with his wife. After they both tested positive for Covid-19, authorities scrambled to trace their contacts, including the taxi driver.
A Serbian woman became the first case of coronavirus on the Ionian island of Corfu. Moreover, four Serbian nationals who tested positive for Covid-19 at the border earlier this week are being hosted at a special quarantine hotel on Thassos.
On Wednesday, the National Public Health Organization announced 33 new cases of Covid-19, including 21 from international travel. The cases brought the total to 3,622, while deaths remained at 193.
Notwithstanding the increase in cases, authorities eased some restrictions on Wednesday. The use of protective masks by customers inside shopping malls will no longer be mandatory, though staff will still be obliged to wear a mask. Previous rules allowing no more than six customers per table at bars and restaurants have also been withdrawn.
In a related development, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias appealed to regional governors to bolster inspections at cafes and restaurants amid the trend toward overcrowding.
“The country needs tourism, both economically and psychologically,” he said. “However, we see that cases are increasing, both in neighboring countries and globally,” he said, adding that Greece was “the best possible example” of containing the virus.