Confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 821 in Greece, 53 in ICUs – A community outside Xanthi on lockdown

25 March 2020
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The community of Echinos, in the Miki area of Xanthi, northern Greece, went on lockdown from 18.00 on Wednesday to April 7, Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias said during a daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday.

He said 9 community members tested positive for the virus within the last 6 days and health specialists recommended the community’s isolation. Their supplies will be provided by the Xanthi municipal authorities, he clarified, until further evaluations.

In Wednesday’s briefing Hardalias also provided some clarifications on how city administrations could help ensure stray cats and dogs are fed in cities, and warned that police checks on people leaving their homes during the curfew (imposed this past Monday) will become more frequent and strict.

He also gave an update on the students who had arrived from Spain with coronavirus infections and were isolated at a hotel. Of the 21 who had been found infected after repatriation in Greece, 20 had no symptoms at all to show they were infected and 1 did, he announced. But the 20 decided to continue staying at the hotel in order to avoid endangering their families and grandparents, Hardalias said, thanking them.

Noting that the briefing took place on Greek Independence Day, Hardalias commented that the Greek Revolution in 1821 “led to the founding the modern Greek state. (…) It is our turn now to unite our powers against a common and invisible enemy,” and expressed gratitude to the medical and nursing staff in Greece, “our front-line fighters today”.

Earlier, medical expert Sotiris Tsiodras, who announces the daily development of the disease and provides answers to press questions at the joint briefing, had said that Greece’s cases total 821, with 78 new diagnoses as of Tuesday.

A total of 134 people are hospitalized, most of whom (60%) are men, and of these 53 are in intensive care wards (average age of the latter, 67 years, mostly men and all with underlying medical conditions).

The numbers show there is no exponential growth of infections from day to day, Tsiodras said, but 22 have died since the outbreak of the pandemic in Greece (avg age: 75, 18 men, 4 women, all with underlying conditions). In addition, 36 people have been discharged from hospitals, and 10,000 diagnostic tests have taken place.

Tsiodras warned about the importance of not relaxing measures, and explained in detail how to take care of a family member who tested positive, including isolating them from other family members, having one dedicated carer, using separate cutlery and utensils, washing clothing at 60-90C, and airing the room daily. “Observe your health on a daily basis, and call your doctors with questions,” he stressed.

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