ATHENS – In another measure aimed at keeping the coronavirus from spreading – there were seven confirmed cases – Greece’s Health Ministry issued directives to keep visitors and attendants from getting too near patients with other illnesses making them more likely to contract the disease.
The measure prohibits family members, friends and attendants from coming into contact with patients suffering from cancer, blood disease or other illnesses that compromise the immune system, said Kathimerini.
None of the coronavirus cases were said to be serious but just the prospect had the New Democracy government scrambling to prevent an economic fallout, especially if it cuts into tourism after several consecutive record years.
The outbreak in the tourist hotspot of northern Italy, including a stretch from Milan to Florence and Venice, with 17 fatalities and at least 650 cases so far, has made near ghost towns of those areas, with a number of regions and towns shot down and quarantined.
Market plunges over the financial effect of the coronavirus – including a fall in the Athens Stock Exchange – has the government expecting it could slow a slow recovery from a near decade-long economic and austerity crisis.
The Finance Ministry has been asked to prepare a preliminary assessment of the possible impact of the coronavirus on the economy, but an official at the Bank of Greece told Reuters that the country’s central bank was sticking to its economic growth projections so far.