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Greece Can’t Keep With Demand for COVID-19 Tests, Program in Limbo

September 4, 2020

ATHENS – With Greece in a second wave of COVID-19 and cases and deaths rising despite more health measures put in place, so many people are seeking tests for the Coronavirus that the country has run out of reagents needed for the process.

The National Blood Center said it was temporarily suspending testing, without the needed supplies to conduct them. It conducts around 1,000 of some 13,000 daily tests nationwide said Kathimerini.

Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis said the shortage of reagents was due to the mass return of  vacationing health workers – who must be tested before they can return to work – and said tests will resume at the center  Sept. 8.

There were another 241 cases on Sept. 3 in a 24-hour period, including 31 at entry points as tourists have brought infections into the country with them since being allowed to enter beginning in July, although far fewer came than was hoped for.

That brought the total cases to 10,998, with 2,174 are linked to travel abroad and 4,843 to an already registered case, adding to growing worries the phenomenon can't be stopped yet.

A 75-year-old man who was infected at a wedding in Larissa in August, although people were warned against mass public gatherings, died in a hospital there almost a month after being admitted, doctors saying underlying health issues proved deadly.

He was the third fatality from among more than 17 people who were infected at a wedding bash in the Larissa village of Ambelonas, the other two victims being 85 and 89, the latest death bringing the toll to 279 with the elderly especially susceptible.

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