Two Mount Athos monasteries on lockdown following coronavirus outbreak

Two Mount Athos monasteries on lockdown following coronavirus outbreak

At least two monasteries on Mount Athos have been put on lockdown after a coronavirus outbreak was reported on Monday at the world-famous monastic community in northern Greece.

The monasteries of Great Lavra and Panteleimonas have reportedly closed their doors to all visitors and pilgrims until further notice to protect their monks from the spread of the virus.

Epidemiologists and Health Ministry adviser Sotiris Tsiodras and Secretary-General for Civil Protection Vassilis Papageorgiou, meanwhile, traveled Mount Athos on Tuesday morning to meet with representatives of the monastic community to discuss the way forward.

Ten people have so far tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Mount Athos, eight of whom are monks at the Monastery of Saint Paul.

One monk, aged 85, is said to be in critical condition at the Papanikolaou Hospital in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin was due to travel to Mount Athos on Wednesday, but it was not clear on Tuesday whether the unofficial visit will go ahead as planned.

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