NEWS

Rush to give schools masks by Monday

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As health authorities continue to stress the importance of caution amid a spike in coronavirus infections, efforts are under way to ensure that all schools are equipped with protective face masks for pupils and teachers ahead of Monday’s reopening. 

The country’s largest municipalities are to take delivery of their consignments of masks from designated collection points while another 226 municipalities are to receive their deliveries by courier. There is some concern about whether the masks will reach all schools by Monday morning, however, as some principals appeared reluctant to take deliveries scheduled for Sunday. 

A special team of officials from the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) and the ministries of Health, Education and Citizens’ Protection has been set up to respond to possible outbreaks in schools, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said Friday. It will have a phoneline – 213-15.10.984/85/86 – working from Monday. 

Meanwhile Education Minister Niki Kerameus said a new website www.mathainoumeasfaleis.gov.gr offers information and advice on the return to schools amid the pandemic.

On Friday, health authorities reported another 287 new coronavirus infections and three new deaths. The new cases raised the total number of infections to 12,734 while the death toll edged up to 300. Of the 287 new cases, 158 were recorded in Attica, with 19 in Thessaloniki and 18 in Pella, both in northern Greece. An increase in the number of Covid-19 victims in intensive care is also a concern – the number rose to 52 on Friday. 

EODY said that authorities have conducted 1,094,354 tests since the start of the epidemic in Greece in February.

A private donation of 200,000 rapid diagnostic tests was flown to Lesvos on Friday amid concerns about an outbreak of the virus at the Moria camp for migrants that was burned down earlier this week. Of those tests, some are to be used on residents of the island and migrants and the rest sent to other parts of the country.