ATHENS – The health ministry on Thursday announced two new cases of COVID19 in the country, raising the number of patients taken ill with the virus to three.
One of the new cases is the child of the 38-year-old woman who first tested positive for the new coronavirus in Greece, and the second was a woman who had travelled to north Italy and is currently being treated at a referral hospital in Athens.
The condition of all three cases infected by COVID19 is described as good and is being monitored by specialists.
The school of the child testing positive for COVID19 in Thessaloniki will remain closed for at least 14 days as a precaution.
Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias, who attended the press briefing, also announced that all carnival events in Greece are being cancelled and clarified that it is very important for the relatives and friends of those infected by the virus to be on the lookout for any suspicious symptom and immediately inform their doctor or the health services.
Third case of COVID19 transferred to Attiko hospital in Athens
A young woman from Athens, the third confirmed case of COVID19 in Greece, was on Thursday admitted to Attiko Hospital, one of the referral hospitals in the Greek capital.
The woman, who had recently travelled to northern Italy, is reported to be in fairly good condition healthwise and will remain in a specially prepared negative pressure chamber at the hospital for treatment.
The authorities are tracking down the people that she came into contact with, including the passengers of the aeroplane and all the people she met since her arrival in Athens.
Health Min. convenes emergency meeting with drug companies
Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias has called to an emergency meeting at the ministry on Thursday evening all representatives and associations of pharmaceutical companies in Greece.
Following the third confirmed case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Greece, Kikilias has ordered the cancellation of all carnivals in Greece through to March 2 (Clean Monday).
City of Athens cancels all carnival and Clean Monday events
The municipality of Athens has cancelled, for precautionary reasons, all events for the end of carnival and Clean Monday, this weekend.
According to a municipality announcement, “city services are on constant alert so that they can respond immediately, if necessary,” and in cooperation with the responsible state agencies “are fully prepared to deal, based on an organised plan, any needs that may emerge in terms of the coronavirus.”
Patras municipal council calls emergency meeting on cancellation of Patras Carnival
The municipal council of the city of Patras will hold an extraordinary meeting on Thursday at 17:30 after Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias’ announced the cancellation of all carnival events in Greece to prevent the spread of COVID19.
The only issue on the agenda is the cancellation of the Patras Carnival.
The Carnival of Patras is the largest and most popular carnival in Greece, which draws thousands of visitors to the port city of Patras each year.
Finance Ministry looking to help businesses affected by cancelled carnival events
The Finance Ministry is working out a plan to support businesses who are facing losses from the cancellation of all carnival events in Greece, sources said on Thursday.
Following an order by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, carnivals are banned through to Clean Monday, March 2, for fear of helping the spread of the COVID-29 coronavirus, which has been confirmed in three Greek carriers at hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki so far.
Other sources said the State Accounting Office is already reviewing the cost of the coronavirus repercussions and how they may be dealt with.
COVID-19 to be discussed in broad Friday meeting at Shipping Ministry
Issues related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 will be discussed during a broad meeting at the Shipping and Island Policy Ministry on Friday at 13:00 pm, to be chaired by Minister Giannis Plakiotakis, in the presence of the President of the National Public Health Organization Panagiotis Arkoumaneas and other shipping-related officials.
Meanwhile the National Public Health Organization on Thursday released a set of detailed preventive instructions for ferry crews in case they encounter a suspected case of COVID-19, and also advised that if a passenger or crew member meets the infection criteria his/her health status should be recorded in accordance with the Maritime Health Declaration (Annex 8, International Health Regulations) and submitted to the health authorities at a port’s entrance gates as soon as possible.
It is very important to keep calm, Dep. Health Min Kontozamanis says
“It is very important that the state should act as an example for citizens and that this extraordinary situation is addressed calmly,” said Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis in parliament on Thursday, concerning the cases of COVID19 in Greece.
“Historically, the Greek state has shown seriousness in such situations and has experience in the management of such incidents,” he underlined, and referred to the influenza pandemic 10 years ago, as well as the SARS and Ebola viruses. “At this time the state is displaying efficiency, readiness and it is very important to send a message that united and with calmness we can deal with these situations,” he said.
Referring to the Act of Legislative Content dealing with emergency action to contain the spread of COVID19, he said that aspects of this will be applied as and when necessary, depending on how the spread of the disease progresses. “That’s why the act was issued…. in order to preempt problems and be better prepared,” he explained, adding that the government is ensuring that there are constant and ongoing briefings of the opposition parties on the progress of the disease.