covid-19
*Image Credit: Eurokinissi

Greece recorded 196 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

This raises the total number of cases to 5,942.

1,503 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 2,885 are related to an already known case.

Of the new cases, 82 were identified in the Attica region and 42 in the Thessaloniki region.

Deputy Civil Protection and Crises Management Minister Nikos Hardalias in his briefing on the course of the pandemic in Greece on Tuesday, pointed out that “we had 961 confirmed incidents since August 1, a fact that led to the government’s decision to impose additional measures in order to curb the spread of the virus.”

On Monday, the Greek government announced a series of new emergency measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

  • The 85th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), Greece’s largest annual trade fair held in the northern port city, scheduled for September 5-13, is cancelled
  • A negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours for travellers coming from Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic as of August 17
  • A negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours for all travellers entering Greece via the Promachonas border crossing with Bulgaria as of August 17
  • A maximum of 750 people will be allowed to enter Greece per day through the Kakavia land border with Albania as of August 16
  • All events that require the audience to stand, including performances and concerts, are suspended
  • Until August 23, food or catering sector-related shops (restaurants, bars etc.) will have to close by midnight in several regions and islands including:
    • Regions: Crete, East Macedonia, Thrace
    • Regional units: Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Larissa, Corfu
    • Municipalities of: Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Volos, Katerini, Rhodes, Antiparos, Zakynthos, Kos

The minister stressed the need for compliance by all. He added that a €10,000 fine will be imposed to owners of restaurants, cafes and bars in specific regions, if they don’t follow the new measure mentioned above.

Twenty-six individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 65 years, while a 53.8% has an underlying health condition or are aged 70 or over.

The country’s pandemic death toll remains at 214. The median age of all was 76 years and 95.8% had an underlying condition and/or was aged 70+.

Hardalias also said that 266,166 PCR tests to 2,162,251 visitors have been conducted from July 1 until August 10 and 508 of them were found positive. 234 of the infected returned to their countries, 101 are no longer active and remain in Greece and 164 are still active.

Meanwhile, Russia developed the first vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ offering “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday.

Putin emphasised that the ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine underwent the necessary tests and has proven efficient, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus. He further called it “a very important step for the world.”

The vaccine was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute. One of Putin’s daughters has reportedly already been vaccinated with ‘Sputnik V’, despite clinical trials still continuing.

Mass production is expected to start in September and mass vaccination in October.

Further, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has warned of a “risk of further escalation of Covid-19” across the continent. “While many countries are now testing mild and asymptomatic cases, which has resulted in increased case reports, there is a true resurgence in cases in several countries as a result of physical distancing measures being relaxed.”

“Countries that are now observing an increase in cases, after having lifted their control measures following a temporary improvement in the epidemiological situation, should consider re-instating selected measures through a phased, step-wise and sustainable approach,” the announcement added.