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Coronavirus Scare Strikes Greece, But Flu Kills 17 in One Week

February 28, 2020

ATHENS – With a fourth person being confirmed to have the coronavirus, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appealed for calm as worry rose, seeing people flock to supermarkets, overshadowing the continuing deadly effect of the flu in the country. 

The number of flu deaths in Greece since last October has risen to 77, according to the National Health Organization (EODY,) which said 17 had died in just one week while all the attention was focused on the coronavirus.

There have been 227 serious cases of the flu reported in Greece, with 206 people being treated in intensive care units. The flu virus is in “a period of heightened activity” in Greece, EODY said.

That report came as a Greek woman who recently returned home from northern Italy, where the virus has been deadly and seen tourist areas shutting down, became Greece’s fourth case and being closely monitored, health authorities said.

The 36-year-old woman has been admitted to a coronavirus isolation unit of the capital’s Attikon Hospital as the New Democracy government has contingency plans in place that could shut down public gathering places and also canceled the annual pre-Easter carnival.

“Panic is always the biggest enemy in these cases,” Mitsotakis told a cabinet meeting in Athen, said Kathimerini.
“At the same time, we have to take all the requisite measures to prevent the virus from spreading further, as effectively as possible,” he said.

At one supermarket in a western Athens neighborhood, a cashier told The National Herald that people were spending as much as 500 euros ($551.59) on orders, stuffing their baskets with staples such as pasta, coffee, rich, canned goods and also varied legumes.

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