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Greece Will Prosecute COVID-19 Containment Violators as Criminals

March 13, 2020

ATHENS – Stepping up plans to control the spread of the Coronavirus, now called COVID-19, after the first death among 117 cases confirmed as of March 12, Greece’s New Democracy said violation of protective measures will be treated as a crime and prosecuted.

That came in a memo to prosecutors from the Supreme Court Prosecutor Vassilis Pliotas, warning that there will be severe penalties for people violating regulations aimed at preventing the spread of the disease, reported Kathimerini.

He urged prosecutors to “intervene” in the event that an individual behaves in a manner that “endangers fundamental legally protected rights like the right to life and physical wellbeing,” without elaborating.

But it came after reports of an investigation being ordered into rumors in the western port city of Patra that several people who had been diagnosed with COVID-119 earlier this month had refused to stay in isolation at home and were seen in the community.

The New Democracy government is implementing parts of a multi-faceted scheme for containment but not yet shutting down public gathering places although closing schools for two weeks and with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urging the elderly to avoid going to Church although Holy Communion hasn’t been banned despite the possibility of spreading the disease through the use of a same spoon for attendants at church services.

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