ATHENS – Greece expanded its measures of closures on Friday to prevent the spread of coronavirus epidemic by ordering the shutdown of coffee shops, bars, malls and restaurants.
In a daily televised briefing, disease specialist Sotiris Tsiodras announced that supermarkets, food shops, bakeries, pharmacies and public and private health services will remain open. Also remaining open will be all take-out and delivery food businesses.
Shutdowns, on the other hand, also include libraries, museums and archaeological sites, and sports venues.
To date, confirmed coronavirus cases in Greece total 190 from yesterday’s 117. Of the 190, 11 cases have no known cause of origin (9 of the 11 are in Attica region). A total of 47 people are hospitalized, 5 in intensive care units. Greece has recorded one coronavirus-related death so far.
The announcements for the closures followed a brief introductory message by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, who said the reasons for introducing the new measures are that new cases have appeared in areas with no previous case history and that the public is not observing official advice to restrict its movements and stay home instead.
Greek coronavirus numbers broken down by age, region
The new data for coronavirus incidence showed 190 people tested positive as of Friday, with another 36 suspected cases being tested.
Of the 190, 11 are so-called ‘orphan’ cases (unknown source or contact), and of the 11, 9 are in the Attica region.
Of the total, 47 are hospitalized and 5 are in intensive care. Greece has recorded one death so far from coronavirus.
In terms of age breakdown, most (79) belong to the 40-44 age group, 47 are over 65 years of age, and there are 7 cases aged from 0 to 17 years of age.
In terms of geographic distribution, the cases are as follows: Athens 85, Ilia prefecture 40, Achaia prefecture 9, Thessaloniki 6, East Attica region 5, Zakynthos island 4 and Kastoria 3.
A total of 2,700 lab tests have been carried out in total, with 1,000 of these occurring the last 48 hours.
Greece to also Shutter Museums, Archaeological Sites
Greece’s museums and archaeological sites will also be suspending their operation until March 30 due to a shortage of staff, the culture ministry announced on Friday.
“Given that there are shortages of guards at archaeological sites and museums due to the special circumstances, based on figures sent to the culture ministry this morning, Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni in consultation with the Panhellenic Federation of Culture Ministry Employees has decided to suspend their operation until March 30 for the safety of the staff but also of the museums and monuments,” the announcement said.
It also clarified that the required security personnel will be on hand to guard both museums and archaeological sites and instructions given for the thorough cleaning of facilities used by staff at the ministry, museums and sites.
The ministry had originally intended to continue the operation of museums and sites, based on an announcement on Thursday, though with restrictions on the maximum number of visitors each time.
Greece has already shut down schools and universities, gyms, cultural centers, cinemas, theaters and indoor children’s play areas.