Concerns mount following fresh virus outbreaks

Concerns mount following fresh virus outbreaks

Health authorities were on renewed alert on Tuesday following a spate of coronavirus infections among migrant workers in Laconia, along with an outbreak among the crew of a cruise ship and a continuing upward trend in cases in Attica. 

In Laconia, in the Peloponnese, tests carried out over the past few days indicated that 37 migrant farm workers are infected with the virus. The first few cases were traced during a program testing local migrant workers for malaria. Testing has been stepped up as an estimated 1,500 workers live in the area. 

Epidemiologist Sotiris Tsiodras, who is advising the government in its response to the pandemic, traveled to Laconia Monday to assess the situation. 

Meanwhile the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) was coordinating with the captain of a Maltese-flagged cruise ship which was to dock at Piraeus early today after 12 members of its 666-strong crew tested positive for Covid-19. 

EODY Monday announced 269 new infections and four new fatalities, pushing the total number of confirmed cases to 17,707 and nudging the death toll up to 383. Of the new cases, 197 were in Attica. 

As the proportion of infections in Athens remains high, EODY has set up more mobile units conducting rapid tests. Of 1,600 tests conducted from Friday through Sunday in Kypseli Square, 28 tested positive. 

An increase in rapid tests is one of five new measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in Athens that were announced by authorities Monday. Another measure is the transformation of eight community centers into small diagnostic centers that will carry out targeted testing, mainly on high-risk groups. Shelters for the homeless and drug users will also be supplied with more rapid testing kits while two new shelters will be created for the city’s homeless. 

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