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Cases Jump, Greece’s COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 218, More Outbreaks

The deaths Aug. 13 of two more people from COVID-19 drove the grim toll in Greece to 218 as cases were spiking in a number of places, including a nursing home, a refugee minor center, and a refugee landing on the island of Lesbos.

Combined with tourists bringing in the Coronavirus and defiance of health protocols to wear masks and stay a safe social distance of at least 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) apart, infections have jumped rapidly in August, now at 6,177 and rising by the day, including a record 262 on Aug. 12.

The latest victims were an87-year-old man who was being treated in a hospital in Halkidiki and the second was an 82-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, said Kathimerini.

That came after a worker at the Sindos shelter for unaccompanied minors in northern Greece tested positive, a local news website reported, creating even more worry.

Manos Logothetis, Secretary-General for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, told GRTimes.gr the facility was temporarily quarantined until the tests on all the minors housed there came back negative and that the infected worker had just returned from a summer holiday but it wasn't said from where.

The other employees in the shelter, a former tannery in the industrial outskirts of Greece's second-largest city Thessaloniki were tested at the initiative of NGOs and international organisations, the report said.

On the island of Lesbos, holding more than 18,000 refugees and migrants at the notorious Moria detention camp, a case was found in one of 55 people who reached there by boat from Turkey, which has allowed human traffickers to keep sending them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They had gone to Turkey fleeing war and strife in their homelands, especially Afghanistan and Syria's civil war as well as economic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and other regions too.

 The migrants disembarked on the beach of Mystegnon, on the eastern coast of the island. All new arrivals have been quarantined at the Kara Tepe camp, said Kathimerini, adding that data from the General Police Directorate of the North  Aegean, 48 people contracted COVID-19, 28 of them newly arrived refugees and migrants and the other 20 local residents, two of whom have died.

have caught the virus on Lesvos since the start of the pandemic.

Thirty-two residents and three employees out of a total of 120 people in a nursing home in the community of Asvestochori, east of Thessaloniki, also teted positive, the facilitis being breeding grounds for the dreaded virus.

At least seven were transferred to the Papanikolaou Hospital of Thessaloniki as they also suffer from underlying illnesses,  said the broadcaster SKAI, as teams from the National Organization of Public Health (EODY) have taken more than 170 samples from the facility as part of its contact tracing system.

Professor Sotiris Tsiodras, the government’s chief scientific adviser on the coronavirus, and Vassilis Papageorgiou, Secretary General of Civil Protection, were to go there, the report also said.

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