ATHENS – After workers in Greek prisons said staff and inmates in nearly half had seen COVID-19 infections, measures were put in place to contain the spread and as it was found 530 police officers had also been hit with the Coronavirus.
The National Organization of Public Health (EODY) will begin a widespread testing program at Greece’s prisons by sending a mobile using to Diavata on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, which has reported dozens of infections in recent days.
Tests will also be carried out on all prison workers on a weekly basis, while the priority for inmate testing will be facilities already dealing with outbreaks, said Kathimerini in a report.
Two hospitals in Athens – already being overwhelmed with serious cases filling Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and under growing pressure – will also be designated to host special wards for inmates needing care not available in prisons.
In the police force, 60 percent of officers with COVID-19 were in northern Greece, especially Thessaloniki, Drama, Alexandroupolis and Kilkis, according to Hellenic Police (ELAS) data. Two officers from Kilkis were on ventilators.
Another 20 percent of the cases are located in police services in the region of Attica, while the rest were spread around the country, data showing only two cases, however, in the Peloponnese and one in Crete.
“My instructions were to follow an even stricter implementation of the (health) measures, and even more checks,” Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said during a visit to Thessaloniki, the paper also reported.
The General Secretariat for Civil Protection has provided 2,000 COVID-19 tests for police officers in Thessaloniki and another 2,000 for testing in the rest of northern Greece.