Latest Updates on Coronavirus: Greece Holds Its Breath



Greek authorities are on high alert following the alarming outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy, where as of Tuesday morning more than 280 cases and seven deaths have been recorded.

Infectious disease experts warn that the possibility of an outbreak in the country has increased, due to its geographical proximity to Italy.

Updates

21:44: The African nation of Algeria has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, according to Reuters, which cited the Algerian state TV network.

21:40: The Tokyo Olympics could even be cancelled, said Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, if it proves too dangerous for the Games to be held in Tokyo.

21:00: Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza declares that ”Italians can continue to travel” following a meeting he had with his European counterparts on Tuesday.

20:55: The Six Nations rugby union match between Ireland and Italy in Dublin, which was scheduled to take place this weekend, has been cancelled due to Coronavirus fears.

20:15: Eleven people are now dead in Italy due to the Coronavirus outbreak, according to Italy’s ANSA news agency. The latest victim was a 76-year-old woman from Veneto.

19:45: The death toll rises to ten in Italy, according to Angelo Borrelli, an Italian government official. Three 80-year-olds have died in the last several hours, according to Borrelli.

19:20: Main developments so far:

  • Two suspected cases of coronavirus have now been reported in Greece. One of the patients is hospitalized in Athens’ Aghia Sofia Children’s Hospital. Another was rushed to the Greek capital’s Attikon Hospital.
  • The Greek government announced new measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • The number of confirmed cases in Italy is at 283, a figure 27 percent higher than yesterday. Seven deaths have been recorded.
  • Switzerland and Croatia are the latest European countries to announce the presence of active cases of the disease in their countries.
  • Chinese authorities announced on Tuesday that the death toll stands currently at 2,663 fatalities among a total of 77,658 coronavirus cases.

19:25: Among Greece’s Emergency Act measures in case of a Coronavirus outbreak, the State will have the right to use private clinics, Intensive Care Units, and medical services from the private sector as well as premises of hotels and other public buildings.

19:00: The results of a coronavirus test were negative for the man who was being treated in Sotiria Hospital.

18:45: Three suspected cases of Coronavirus have now been reported in Greece. According to MEGA TV network, one of the victims is in Athens’ Aghia Sofia Children’s Hospital. Another victim is currently being rushed to Attikon Hospital, while the third is a Navy sailor, hospitalized in isolation in Sotiria Hospital.

18:40: Greece is ready to enforce draconian steps if the disease arrives in the country. Among the government’s measures is the temporary suspension of operation of schools, churches, and other public institutions.

18:10: The UK advises all people who have returned from Iran, specific areas in Northern Italy and South Korea since February 19 to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

18:00: At least twelve British Schools which had recently sent their pupils to Italy will either remain closed or will have to send home the students who traveled to Italy in the next few days. This comes following the advice of the Public Health England agency. A total of thirteen coronavirus cases have been identified in the UK so far.

17:50: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy remains at 283, a figure 27 percent higher than yesterday. Italian Premier Conte predicts that the number of new cases in Italy will stabilize soon.

17:20: Switzerland has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19 coronavirus, according to an announcement of the Federal Office of Public Health of the country.

17:10: The World Health Organization will deliver an update on the coronavirus, following the Italian outbreak.

 

16:50: Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper reported that the first case of coronavirus in mainland Spain has been identified by authorities in Catalonia.

16:45: The first case of coronavirus has been recorded in Liguria, Italy, according to the regional government of the region. The woman is a tourist and she tested positive in the city of Alassio.

16:30: Walter Ricciardi from the World Health Organization said in Rome that only three percent of the patients tested positive for Coronavirus in Italy have died, and all of these people had pre-existing conditions.

16:25: Five out of the ten Greek schools which have sent students to Italy for educational trips will have their pupils back in Greece by Tuesday night, Greece’s AMNA news agency reported. All the students from one school will return on March 1, and the remaining four schools’ pupils will also be back home in the coming days.

15:30: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declares that Italy is a safe country for tourism despite the emergence of the new virus.

🔴 Conferenza stampa in diretta dalla Protezione Civile 🔴

Posted by Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

15:00: The Greek government announced on Tuesday a legislative act that, among other provisions, gives authorities the right to carry out checks at all entry points (including highways and train stations) and to place individuals presenting possible symptoms of the disease under restriction and medical surveillance.

14:40: The Italian Government denies reports that all the schools in Italy are going to shut down.

La Presidenza del Consiglio smentisce le notizie che stanno circolando in queste ore su una presunta chiusura, per…

Posted by Palazzo Chigi – Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

 

14:20: The Wall Street Journal reports that drugmaker Moderna is delivering the first experimental vaccine against the coronavirus to U.S. government researchers for human testing.

14:10: Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has confirmed his country’s first case of coronavirus infection, in a patient who is hospitalized in the capital. “The patient is in the Zagreb clinic for infectious diseases. It is a younger person and he has milder symptoms. He is in isolation and his condition is good at the moment,” Plenkovic told a news conference.

Croatian Health Minister Vili Beros said that the patient had visited Milan, Italy from February 19 to February 21.

14:05: Kuwait has suspended flights to and from Italy because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Kuna news agency reported on Tuesday. Bulgarian Air, meanwhile, said that it has stopped its service to Milan until March 27. The UK’s foreign office has told British nationals returning from the areas of northern Italy which are in lockdown to self-isolate — even if they do not have any symptoms.

13:55: Iran’s Deputy Health Minister himself has tested positive for coronavirus. According to the semi-official news agency ILNA, the spokesman for the Iranian Health Ministry confirmed in an interview with state television that Deputy Minister Iraj Harirchi has been infected and is now under quarantine.

13:30: Greek Health authorities cleared a 40-year-old man of carrying the virus after medical tests proved negative. The man, who returned on Sunday by ferry from a trip to Italy, is being treated at the Patras University Hospital, one of the country’s dedicated coronavirus hospitals.

13:10: The municipality of Spata-Artemida, east of Athens, has leased an aircraft to bring back Spata High School pupils and their teachers from France. The group, consisting of 75 pupils and five teacher escorts, had been planning on returning from France by bus, driving across Italy to the port of Ancona, and then taking a ferry for Patras.

Responding to parents’ and pupils’ concerns over the coronavirus, Spata mayor Dimitis Markou took the initiative to bring back the schoolchildren and their escorts by airplane.

13:05: A Turkish Airlines airplane flying from Iran has been diverted to Ankara as one passenger was suspected of being infected by coronavirus. Turkey closed its borders to Iran on Sunday and stopped all flights due to the spread of the virus in that country.

12:25: Greek Health authorities are due to announce the medical tests results of a suspected coronavirus case in the city of Patras. A 40-year-old man, who returned on Sunday by ferry from a trip to Italy, is being treated at the Patras University Hospital which is one of the country’s 13 coronavirus reference hospitals.

12:00: The Greek Embassy in Italy said they are coordinating with the schools currently in Italy for their safe return to Greece. The embassy said in a press release that it was in contact with the principals accompanying the students, adding that there is “no reason for increased concern, let alone panic.” Students from ten Greek schools were vacationing in Italy – two were in Milan and eight in central and southern regions of the country.

11:25: Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias appealed to citizens to only trust information from recognized scientists specializing on matters relating to the coronavirus, “and not those spreading fake news.” Kikilias posted his message on his personal Twitter account.

11:00: Italian authorities announced on Tuesday the first positive coronavirus case in the South of Italy. A woman from Bergamo, who was on vacation with her friends in Sicily,  tested positive for Convid-19. The patient, who is not in serious condition, has been transferred to the Hospital Cervello in Palermo.

10:52: A Tenerife hotel with 1,000 guests is reportedly in lockdown after an Italian tourist tested positive in contracting the new coronavirus. The holidaymakers have been quarantined inside the complex. Local reports have named the hotel as the H10 Costa Adeje Palace in Adeje, south of the island.

10:40: The Greek Olympic Committee announced that it has discussed with the government alternative plans for the Olympic Flame lighting ceremony in March if there is a coronavirus outbreak. “We are in contact with the Crisis Committee and the Ministry of Health so that there is a plan ready for what needs to be done in case there are outbreaks in our country,” committee president Spyros Capralos said.

10:35: Two more Iranians infected with coronavirus have died, media website Eghtesad online said on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 14 – the highest tally of deaths outside China.

10:30: Greek Reporter has learned that at least two major Airline companies in the US to discuss the option of suspending all or some flights to the European Union, beginning from Sunday, March 1.

09:55: Athens University professor and infectious disease expert Dimitris Tsiodras said the public should remain calm, noting that the virus remains a mild disease, which in most case (85 percent) behaves like a simple cold.

09:30: The number of novel coronavirus cases in south Korea is approaching 900 as the president Moon Jae-in said the outbreak is “very grave”. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 60 new cases in its morning update – after three days of triple-digit increases – taking the tally to 893, the largest national total anywhere outside China.

09:00: Chinese authorities announced on Tuesday that the death toll stands currently at 2,663 fatalities among a total of 77,658 coronavirus cases, which have occurred for the most part in the central province of Hubei.

08:30: Greek cruise industry insiders are increasingly alarmed about the effect of the coronavirus epidemic on the tourist industry. Speaking to Greek Reporter, Theodoros Kontes, the President of the Union of Greek Cruise Ship Owners, says that earlier forecasts showing a 7-8 percent increase in cruise passengers to Greece for the year 2020 are now unlikely. “We would be lucky if we maintain last year’s numbers. People are scared to travel,” he notes.

08:15: The Milan stock exchange’s FTSE Mib index closed 5.4% down on 23,427 points on Monday amid fears of the economic impact of the coronavirus emergency, meaning that some 30 billion euros’ worth of share value went up in smoke.