New coronavirus variant suspected of appearing in more parts of Greece


The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) has confirmed 59 cases of a new variant of the novel coronavirus that has been sweeping through Britain and other parts of Europe in recent weeks, and is believed to be more transmissible and dangerous than the prevalent strain, the president of the Greek agency said on Tuesday.

Those 59 cases have been identified in Athens and Crete, Panagiotis Arkoumaneas told Skai TV, adding, however, that EODY is also investigating several “suspicious” cases in northern Greece.

“We must assume that there is transmission of the new variant in this country as well,” Arkoumaneas said, echoing fears voiced by several health experts in recent days that this new strain could overturn Greece’s steady progress in containing the virus over recent weeks.

The new variant, he said, “adds a new level of complication to an already complicated equation,” adding that if the data show an alarming increase in infections from this strain, harsher lockdown measures may need to be reintroduced.