ATHENS — Greek authorities say coronavirus checks will be carried out on all care homes for the elderly throughout the country within the next 10 days.
Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias made the announcement on Friday. He also said that measures for employees at these facilities, such as postponement of leaves, mandatory coronavirus tests 48 hours before returning to work and avoiding trips abroad, will be implemented.
Additionally, some 8,450 fresh army conscripts will be tested for Covid-19 between September 7 to 23, Hardalias added, and noted that a significant rise in coronavirus cases has been recorded in the region of Attica in the last few days, and that police checks for the observance of protection measures will be tightened as a result.
"Our concern was, and still is, to protect public health," he said and added that "cooperation of the state, society and citizens themselves is required."
"Only by working together can we win the battle with the spread of the pandemic," he concluded.
Care homes had remained untouched in the first wave of the pandemic in Greece, when a lockdown imposed early in the outbreak is credited with keeping the number of cases and deaths low.
But a recent increase in the spread of the virus after restrictions were relaxed and foreign tourists were welcomed into the country has resulted in outbreaks in at least two care homes, with several deaths reported.
Health authorities announced 202 new cases and one death, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 11,200 and 279 deaths in Greece.