GR US

Another 315 COVID-19 Cases, 7 Deaths, Refugee Camps Locked Down

Αssociated Press

FILE- Protesters take part in a rally during a 24-hour nationwide strike by state hospital workers outside the health ministry in Athens, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS – With government pleas urging people to follow health protocols stil being defied in some cases, Greece suffered 315 more COVID-19 cases on Sept. 26 and seven deaths, and moved for earlier closing of street kiosks and convenience stores where people can buy alcohol and beer late at night.

Those places will now join nightclubs and other businesses serving alcohol to close at midnight as authorities also are trying to cut off the availability at the kiosks and convenience stores where people bought booze and then gathered in public squares.

There were now 17,228 cases in the country and 376 deaths during a resurging second wave although the New Democracy government said while there might be localized lockdowns in hotspot neighborhoods that non-essential businesses

There are 68 people on ventilators, but many more are in beleaguered Intensive Care Units (ICU's) that had been beefed up during the pandemic, with the help of the Diaspora and some philanthropists.

Still there are worries that if the curve keeps rising that the facilities could be overwhelmed  with the government putting private and military hospitals on standby to be used for COVID-19 or siphon off other cases to help public hospitals.

The biggest problem has been people who won't wear masks or keep safe social distances of at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart from each other, flagrant violations during alcohol-fueled gatherings by mostly young people.

The virus continues to spread as well in refugee and migrant detention centers, including at least 253 cases in a new tent city on Lesbos built built to replace the burned-down notorious Moria camp on the island.

Migrant reception centers in Thiva, central Greece, and Serres, in the country’s north, have been put on lockdown until at least Oct. 9, joining those on Elaionas, Malakasa, Oinofyta, Ritsona, Schistos, Koutsohero and Fylakio, on the mainland, and on the islands of Samos and Leros on the list.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)