ATHENS – Health protocols aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Greece aren't working and, reluctant to order a second general lockdown, the New Democracy government's approach is to add more restrictions.
Despite fines and enforcement measures, so many people still are either ignoring or defying measures to wear masks and keep safe social distances that the Coronavirus second wave is still soaring, seven months into the pandemic.
The government now will also add testing and preventive measures aimed especially at the most vulnerable members of the population, said Kathimerini, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
But so far the government isn't willing to have police break up parties by large crowds of young people gathering in public squares after midnight when nightclubs close, although street kiosks and convenience stores will also shut at that time in a bid to shut off access to beer and alcohol.
The first part of the new campaign is to transform eight community centers, or “friendship clubs,” in the Greek capital into small COVID-19 diagnostic centers that will carry out targeted testing, mainly on vulnerable and at-risk groups. Shelters for Athens' homeless and drug users will also be supplied with more rapid testing kits, while two new shelters will be created to provide more beds for the city’s homeless and try to keep them apart from each other, the paper said.
The national health service EODY will increase the number of rapid tests being carried out in the worst affected parts of the capital, Athens municipal outreach teams will work with the homeless, adding nurses to provide care and testing.
while the City of Athens’ outreach teams working with homeless people will be The national and municipal police forces are being connected via a joint operations center to link all activities in the Greek capital related to Coronavirus prevention and protection measures although Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' constant pleas for social responsibility haven't worked yet.
An early lockdown in March that lasted up to 10 weeks for many non-essential businesses worked to hold down the spread of COVID-19 but allowing in tourists this summer and defiance of health protocols has seen the number of cases approach 18,000 with 383 deaths expected to also rise in coming weeks.