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Not Immune, Greece’s Defiant Young Spreading COVID-19

ATHENS – The second wave of COVID-19 in Greece is spreading faster after young people partying and not wearing masks or staying a safe social distance from each other are being infected, now the biggest category of those coming down with the Coronavirus cases that is setting new records almost daily.

There were 667 cases on Oct. 20 as the New Democracy government is caught between trying to get people to follow restrictions and whether to extend localized lockdowns nationally which could cripple the economy.

There were now 26,469 deaths and with eight deaths the grim toll rose to 528, still low compared to other European countries where a resurgence is out of control and curfews imposed in some places with a dread spread too. 

"The pandemic is showing clear signs that it is steadily spreading," said epidemiologist Gikas Magiorkinis, adding that people in the age group of 18 to 39 years old made up some 60-70% of the new infections, said Kathimerini.

He said the pandemic was spreading increasingly in the northern part of the country and urged young people to comply with mask-wearing and social distancing measures but some said it's an old person's disease they can't catch.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis overturned a plan that would have let fans back into stadia to watch soccer games.

"It is not the right time for sports fans to return to venues, it would send the wrong message," said Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, who added that dangerous signs are showing in the Athens area which he said for now is “critically stable,” but being monitored.

"How things unfold with the pandemic is in our hands," Hardalias said. "Apply the measures,” he said, including wearing masks in public gathering places but in one Laiki in an Athens neighborhood a brief 10-minute survey of a 50-yard area showed 101 violations of people not wearing masks and no enforcement at the site.

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