Fresh concern amid new spike in coronavirus cases

Fresh concern amid new spike in coronavirus cases

A new spike in Covid-19 infections Tuesday, the majority still in Attica, fueled fresh concerns among health authorities, who have been waiting to see the impact of a new set of restrictions on the course of the pandemic. 

The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) announced 416 new cases of the coronavirus and five fatalities, pushing the total number of confirmed infections nationwide to 18,123 and the death toll to 388.

Of the 416 new cases, 55 were connected to known clusters of infections while 59 were detected at the country’s border entry points. A total of 240 cases were recorded in Attica, with 23 of those cases detected by mobile EODY units that have been set up at central points in the city. Of the 2,600 tests conducted by EODY units in Athens since last Friday, 61 produced positive results. 

During a briefing to reporters Tuesday, Gkikas Magiorkinis, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Athens University, indicated that the course of the pandemic in Greece was still relatively balanced, suggesting that the second wave has yet to peak. Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, for his part, played down speculation about additional measures. “The issue is not to talk about new measures but for those that have already been announced to be implemented,” he said. “Things can get better but they can also get worse, and that depends on us,” he added.

Hardalias was also asked to comment on the fact that repeat tests on 12 crew members of the Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship who tested positive on Monday turned out negative. He suggested that the correct protocols were not followed by the laboratory in Iraklio where the initial tests were conducted. 

The 12 members of the 666-strong crew were part of a group of 150 employees on the ship who were tested at random before the ship departed from Iraklio on Sunday night in what was the first cruise in Greek waters since the spring lockdown.

When the results came back positive after the ship had set sail for Corfu, the ship was ordered to sail to Piraeus, where the repeat tests were conducted. The ship was to remain in Piraeus overnight and was expected to continue its journey Wednesday. 

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