Greece Announces First Death from Coronavirus



    Hospitals are preparing more beds to battle the virus. Photo Credit: AMNA

    Greek authorities confirmed the first fatality from Cov-19 in the country early on Thursday.

    The patient, a 66-year-old male, was infected with the virus several days ago and has been hospitalized since March 2 at Rio Hospital, near the city of Patras.

    The retired teacher, from Amaliada, Peloponnese, had returned from a religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt at the end of February. He was among a group of 53 people.

    The majority of his fellow travelers, including his wife, have also been infected with the virus. Several are hospitalized in the designated hospital in Patras; others are in house isolation.

    The Health Ministry said in a statement that the deceased also suffered from underlying health issues.

    There were 99 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Greece by late Wednesday.

    Greece has imposed a series of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, among them the closure of all schools, kindergartens and universities.

    A special phone number — 1135 — is in operation on a 24/7 basis to answer questions about the pandemic as well as for those who suspect that they have contracted the virus.

    On Wednesday evening, PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke to the nation on the pandemic in a televised broadcast. ”We are already doing what is needed to safeguard public health; public and private sectors are invited to cooperate,” he noted.

    Mitsotakis also took a forward-leaning stance on a question which has divided Greek society relating to whether or not whether church services should be limited or banned altogether for a set period of time.

    ”We do not want to hurt ourselves and those we love,” Mitsotakis stated, adding that ”As a Prime Minister, I have to listen to the expert scientists: What applies to public gatherings applies to churches as well.”

    ”Faith often begins where science ends, but the kind of faith we need right now is the one that says we’ll manage to overcome the crisis,” the Greek Premier noted, taking a clear position against all those who irresponsibly say that the elderly have nothing to fear by attending crowded church liturgies.