Coronavirus Live Updates: Greece Holds its Breath as Tens of Millions of Italians Put in Quarantine



As Italy announced that more than sixteen million people will be quarantined in a total of fifteen provinces of the country, Greek health authorities announced on Monday 11 new cases of the viral disease. The country now has a total of 84 recorded Covid19 Coronavirus cases.

21:10: Main stories on Monday

  • Equity prices have dropped significantly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as world markets tumble.
  • The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church has dismissed calls to recommend that the faithful abstain from sharing Holy Communion due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The government of the Republic of Cyprus confirmed on Monday the first two coronavirus cases on the island.
  • Italy records 97 more deaths on Monday. The total death toll from the outbreak there is now 463.
  • Approximately 112,000 people have been infected by the Covid19 coronavirus across the world, and 3,884 have died.

19:10: Italy records 97 more deaths on Monday. The total death toll from the outbreak there is now 463.

18:30: Approximately 112,000 people have been infected by the Covid19 coronavirus across the world, and 3,884 have died.

17:30: A ban on all flights to and from northern Italy was announced by the Greek Civil Aviation Authority. The ban will be in effect until March 23.

17:12: Athens’ half-marathon scheduled for March 22 will be postponed, it was made public on Monday afternoon.

17:08: Greece’s Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias advises “Those with flu symptoms should stay home and restrict their movement.”

17:06: 81 out of the 84 Covid-19 coronavirus victims in Greece are Greek nationals. The remaining three are nationals of other countries.

17:05: Greece announces 11 new cases of the viral disease. The country now has a total of 84 recorded Covid19 Coronavirus cases.

17:00: An Israeli Embassy employee in Athens was diagnosed with the Covid19 coronavirus on Monday.

16:50: A parent of one of the students attending Athens College, one of Greece’s most well-known private schools, has been diagnosed with the Covid19 Coronavirus. For this reason, all students of the IB DP of the College’s Lyceum in Psychico were told to leave earlier from school.

16:15: Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, who has been elected to succeed Prokopios Pavlopoulos as president of the Hellenic Republic, on Monday announced the cancellation of the traditional ceremony for congratulations on the assumption of her duties, scheduled for Saturday March 14. She said that the decision was taken “with a sense of the need for a collective effort and responsibility to address the coronavirus epidemic.”

16:00: Stock market trading was suspended for fifteen minutes in New York after fears triggered a massive wave of selloffs.

14:55: The first set of fiscal measures to address the effects of coronavirus in Greece include tax and insurance benefits, among others, as well as additional expenditures for the health system, according to an announcement by the Finance and Labor ministries on Monday.

14:40: The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church has dismissed calls to recommend that the faithful abstain from sharing Holy Communion due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. In a statement, the Synod said that “for members of the Church, sharing divine communion cannot, of course, be a cause of disease transmission.” Full story here.

14:25: Greece sends a message of support and solidarity to Italy. A Twitter message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads: “A message of support & solidarity to our Italian friends who bravely face the emergency #coronavirus. Our thoughts go to the families of the victims, to all those affected & to the medical staff who face this emergency with altruism.”

14:00: The Lighting Ceremony of the Olympic Flame at Ancient Olympia will be held on March 12 without the presence of spectators, the Hellenic Olympic Committee announced on Monday. Full story here.

13:50: Six prisoners died in Modena, Italy, after a prison riot broke out after detainees were informed that the new emergency decree from the government includes restriction of face time with visiting relatives due to the coronavirus.

13:45: Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy will be temporary, but it will ultimately be far more significant and painful than the initial estimates.

13:20: Equity prices were dropping significantly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) on Monday. The basic share price index was down 10.80 percent, standing at 610.81 points at 11.00, and turnover was at 9.97 million euros. The stock market had earlier fallen 600 points, and was at its lowest level since December of 2018.

13:05:  A 40-year-old woman on the island of Lesvos has been admitted to the hospital after showing symptoms similar to the coronavirus, according to local media reports. The woman, who recently traveled to Israel and Egypt as part of a group, was reportedly transferred to an isolation unit at the Hospital of Mytilene on Sunday. According to the same reports, her two children did not go to school on Monday.

12:55:  European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said the Coronavirus is a having an enormous impact on Europe’s economy.  She stated “The spread of the [Corona] virus has a vast impact on people’s lives but it also has a vast impact on our economy. We are looking into everything that we can do to help to address the impacts on the economy.”

12:30: Albania announced the first two cases of coronavirus within its borders. Two people, described as a father and son, had tested positive after recently returning to Albania from Italy.

12:15: Greek authorities have ordered hundreds of schools around the country to shut down in order to prevent the spread of the virus. All schools in the regions of Achaia, Elia and Zakynthos will remain shut until March 18 in addition to dozens of schools in Athens and Thessaloniki.

11:40: Cartoonist Elias Makris captured the twin challenges Greece currently faces for Kathimerini newspaper.

11:30: The Greek Olympic Committee said it was drastically scaling back accreditations “to those absolutely necessary,” limiting festivities and canceling all event dinners and galas at Ancient Olympia, where the flame for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled to be lit on March 12.

11:15: The Greek government is expected to announce economic measures related to the disease outbreak on Monday.

11:05: The Athens Stock Exchange plunged 13 percent in early trading, as investors worldwide react to the coronavirus and the oil price war launched by Saudi Arabia overnight.

10:50: The mayor of the city of Pyrgos in the Peloponnese revealed that people who were asked to stay at home as being suspected of carrying the coronavirus infection are ignoring calls to stay isolated and are freely walking in the city.

Speaking to Skai TV, Panagiotis Antonakopoulos said that many of the relatives of the group who were diagnosed as carriers after they traveled to Israel and Egypt are behaving in an “irresponsible way.”

10:40: A worker at the Israeli Embassy in Athens has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and appears to have passed the pathogen to two family members, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced Monday. The worker was on the same flight from Tel Aviv to Athens as a group of Greek tourists who visited Israel and the West Bank and were later found to have contracted the virus.

10:20: A swath of northern Italy was sealed off Monday as authorities struggled to contain the spread and impact of the deadly coronavirus. An area that is home to around a quarter of Italy’s population was effectively shuttered – including the entire cities of Milan and Venice – mimicking the lockdown which had been imposed at the center of the outbreak of the disease in China.

Tens of millions of people are now in virtual quarantine, but there are fears that the disease may spread even further.

10:10: Greece announced on Sunday a set of new measures to combat the spread of coronavirus: These are:

  • Nationwide suspension of the operation of all Open Care Centers for the Elderly, known in Greece as ΚΑΠΗ, for four weeks.
  • No conferences to be held in the country for four weeks.
  • All school trips are now banned for the next two weeks.
  • Additionally, schools will be shutting down in areas where the outbreak is becoming serious.
  • All sporting events to be conducted behind closed doors for the next two weeks.

10:00: There are almost 110,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins Medical Center. The total is currently 109,965. The total number of deaths from the virus stands at 3,824.

Of the infections:

80,735 are in mainland China

7,375 are in Italy

7,313 are in South Korea

6,566 are in Iran

1,209 are in France

1,040 are in Germany.

Spain has the next highest number of cases, with 673, followed by the US with 547.