Five towns in Northern Greece in lockdown

1 April 2020
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Five municipalities in northern Greece are on lockdown as of Tuesday night, Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said at the daily briefing on developments in Greece regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

The five include the municipal area of Mesopotamia in Kastoria, Orestida, Nestorio, Xanthi and Myki. Residents of these areas should collect supplies for 14 days, as the strict curfew will begin at 20.00 tonight (March 31) and end at the same time on April 14. The situation there is so critical in terms of infection, Hardalias said, that residents are forbidden from leaving home to assist others (the town will work through the Help at Home program), they may only attend funerals if they are close kin and keeping distances, and they may only walk their pets around their home.

Military doctors will be sent to staff the hospitals of Kastoria and Xanthi in addition to more nurses, as well as other health centers, while additional EKAV ambulance services will be provided, he said.

In Thessaloniki, local authorities and the central government have imposed a curfew on the afternoon use of Nea Paralia in the city, the promenade near the White Tower, after residents ignored warnings to keep safe distances. Reiterating the importance of keeping distances, Hardalias said that the popular coastal walk has been shut from 14:00 to 08:00 the next morning, daily and on weekends, for the next 14 days.

In Attica, two of the open markets in the Ilion district of Athens were suspended because the public was not keeping distances, while Hardalias was particularly appalled by people lining up outside banks on March 31 (payday), calling it “an unacceptable sight”.

“April is a particularly critical time,” he warned, “it’s too early to judge” what the disease’s developments will be. “We are issuing an SOS to you to observe the curfew,” he told the public.

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