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Greece Locks Down Kozani Region Over Spreading COVID-19

Reluctant to impose a second national lockdown despite a second wave of COVID-19, Greece's New Democracy government is shutting down most activity in the Kozania area of western Macedonia where the cases are almost out of control, a red alert.

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection said the region is in the “increased threat” level and restrictive measures that will take effect Oct. 16 and that will last until at least Oct. 29.

The measures include compulsory use of face masks everywhere, a ban in public and private gatherings, and a ban in travel outside the region, keeping people confined there for now.

Shops, gyms, courts, restaurants, cinemas, music festivals, museums and archaeological sites will close, said Kathimerini although schools will stay open with pupils and teachers wearing masks with no explanation why the virus won't spread there and universities switching to online classes.

That came after six deaths on Oct. 15, all men, aged 58-97, other media reports said, the rise in fatalities unsettling health officials with the grim toll reaching 84 only halfway through October compared to 203 before that when the pandemic began in March, when a national 10-week lockdown was imposed.

While only Kozani among Greece’s 74 regional units has been designated as being at the highest Coronavirus alert level, the Civil Protection Secretariat has another 15 on orange alert, the level down, indicating close monitoring.

They are Attica, where Athens is located, along with its islands as well as Achaia, Ioannina, Iraklio in Crete, Karditsa, Kastoria, Kea, Lesbos, Mykonos, Pella, Samos, Santorini, Trikala and Zakynthos.

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