Greece records more than 5,000 coronavirus infections

Greece records more than 5,000 coronavirus infections

Thursday, August 06, 2020

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ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Greece on Thursday recorded more than 5,000 coronavirus cases after a spurt in new infections that sparked a "wake-up week".

The national public health organisation announced 153 cases over the last 24 hours, raising the total to over 5,100. There have been 210 deaths so far.

The highest amount of daily cases announced was 156 on April 21, following a mass outbreak at a migrant hotel near Athens.

Greece on Wednesday announced a "wake-up week" on COVID-19, tightening restrictions after the steady rise in mostly domestic infections.

Officials have blamed the increase on overcrowding in clubs and social events.

Only 10 per cent of cases in Greece can be traced to foreign arrivals, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

"We have located three sources of concern: very regular crossings from Balkan countries by ethnic Greeks and residence permit holders... social gatherings, including clubbing youths, weddings and baptisms, and public transport," Petsas said.

The public protection agency last week said masks must be worn in all indoor public areas, and visits to retirement homes and other institutions hosting vulnerable groups are restricted until August 15.

A limit of 100 guests was also set for weddings, baptisms and funerals, and summer fairs were cancelled.

Mitsotakis has already ruled out a general lockdown after gradually reopening the economy in May and starting to accept foreign arrivals in June to salvage part of the tourism season that is vital to the economy.

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