At least three children and an employee at a shelter run by the Smile of the Child have become infected with the novel coronavirus, the charity’s president, Kostas Giannopoulos, said on Friday.
“We are afraid, just as any parent would be if their child were in a difficult situation; the only difference is that our family is much bigger,” Giannopoulos said, commenting on the outbreak at the charity’s shelter in the southern Athens district of Moschato.
Speaking at a press conference he called to announce the outbreak, Giannopoulos accused the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) for delaying to respond to the first case at the facility, a 17-year-old boy who spiked a fever last Sunday.
EODY reportedly sent a team to the facility on Wednesday, after a worker also presented symptoms, becoming ill on Monday and staying at home.
EODY’s team conducted tests on 17 of the facility’s 25 children and 18 employees, a measure Giannopoulos said was insufficient. Of those 17 samples, two came back positive and belonged to children who did not have any symptoms.
“Everyone should have been tested given that this is a facility with a lot of people and vulnerable children,” he said, adding that EODY is sending an additional team to test the remainder of the people working or living in the house.