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Greek Island Medics Being Trained to Deal with COVID-19

Αssociated Press

The 93-year old local resident Dimitris Karistinaios is helped by Dimtiris Leontidis member of the non-for-profit Organization Symplefsi, after a test for the new coronavirus as a doctor of the National Health Organization (EODY) stands behind them on the Aegean Sea island of Folegandros, Greece, on Monday, May 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Trying to further reassure tourists that Greece will be safe to visit as a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus is gradually being lifted, doctors, nurses and paramedics on the Greek islands will be receiving special training to deal with any cases that might arise.

The tourism season will begin in earnest on July 1, with strict health protocols for hotels and hopes that international air traffic will pick up and that people will be persuaded to travel with low risk.

Teams of paramedics from the National Center of Emergency Care (EKAV) went to the country’s lands on May 26, where they have been few cases as Greece’s early lockdown worked to contain the virus better than most countries.

The health officials are going to work with the smaller hospitals and medical centers and clinics on islands that have few resources to deal with most emergencies, especially COVID-19 where serious cases require intensive care and ventilators.

EKAV’s Be SAFE (Stay Alert, Fully Educated) program began on the island of Syros, the capital of the Cyclades cluster, and will continue this week in Naxos, Paros and Antiparos, before reaching the rest of the islands by June 20, said Kathimerini in a report.

The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) and the non-government organization (NGO) Symplefsi also started sending teams to the country’s more remote islands to conduct coronavirus tests on local populations, beginning with Milos, Kimolos, Folegandros and Sikinos.

Domestic travel to the islands began May 25 with ferries operating at half capacity and hotels required to limit customers, keep safe distances between them and operate with health measures including disinfections.