Greek Cities Announce Wave of Carnival Cancellations, Following Health Minister Order

Αssociated press

A worker wearing a protective suit enters a primary school where a child was diagnosed with coronavirus, to spray disinfectant in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

ATHENS- Piraeus was the latest large municipality in Greece to officially announce the cancellation of carnival celebrations, following an order by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias for the cancellation of all carnival events through Clean Monday (March 2) after a third case of coronavirus, or COVID-19, was confirmed on Thursday.

The cancellation follows similar announcements by Athens, Patras and the Region of Attica.

In Patras, a port with major connections to Italy, Mayor Kostas Peletidis said that the cancellation, a "primary obligation, following scientific directives", nevertheless "gave rise to bitterness, anger and disappoinment in city workers who put a lot of effort (...) in preparing for the top carnival of Greece." He added that a carnival will be scheduled for the last week of June. It will celebrate the new base of the Patras carnival, the refurbished complex once holding the city's slaughterhouses.

Prior to an official announcement for the city, the Association of China-Greece Investors had addressed a letter to Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis calling for the cancellation of the Athens festival "because of the emergency and dangerous state" and expressed "great regret but concern over the COVID-19's spread."

The largest Chinese association in Greece also said it had made a gift to Wuhan 7 hospital in China, "to show our fellow nationals our practical support in this great difficulty."