Prison worker’s union laments lack of regular testing, says 16 out of 34 jails reported infections


Health authorities have confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections in at least 16 out of the country’s 34 jails, involving both employees and detainees, the Hellenic Prison Workers' Federation (OSYE) said on Tuesday and called for more measures to stop the spread of the virus.

“The narrative that some people have painstakingly created that 'Greece can be proud because no cases have been recorded in the penitentiaries' has now collapsed,” the union said in a press release.

OSYE said that “nobody can know” if and how many people are infected on a weekly basis as, despite “repeated requests” from the union and the recommendations of the experts, no tests are conducted on a regular basis even when there is a confirmed case.

The union also noted that the detention centre of Thessaloniki, where SARS-CoV-2 positive prisoners from northern Greece are sent to self-isolate, lacks the necessary staff and infrastructure to fulfil its role.

"Our federation proposed from the start a package of measures to deal with the virus in prisons," including separating infected detainees from prisoners belonging to high risk groups, weekly tests, the supply of equipment and staff. "None of the above happened."