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Φώτο: Menelaos Michalatos / SOOC

Greece eases restrictive Covid measures but cases remain high

The hairdressers, beauty salons, and archeological sites will reopen, as announced yesterday by the Greek Ministry of Health. Citizens will also be provided with tests on a weekly basis from pharmacies by citing their health care number (AMKA).

Greece has announced the easing of restrictive measures aimed at restricting Covid-19, starting as of Saturday, despite the number of daily cases remaining high.

It was announced that hairdressers, beauty salons and archeological sites will reopen during an official briefing from the Ministry of Health on the course of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Akis Skertsos, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, said that the curfew on weekends will be pushed back to 2100 from 1800, bringing it in line with rules on weekdays.

He added that the government will also provide free mass tests for coronavirus to citizens through pharmacies. More specifically, citizens will be provided with tests on a weekly basis from pharmacies by citing their AMKA health care number.

The goal is, according to Skertsos, to go from 300,000 tests per week to potentially 10 million tests per week.

More specifically, the latest changes decided on by experts, after studying the latest data, include:

  • Every day and throughout the country the curfew will be 21:00 to 05:00, starting tomorrow, Saturday.
  • Hairdressers and beauty centers will open. Outdoor archeological sites will reopen for up to 3 people. Visits will be done with a mask and by sending a code 6 SMS.
  • Religious services will be allowed with one person allowed for every 25 meters in the church with a limit of 20 people for upcoming celebrations.
  • Amateur fishing will be allowed for residents of coastal municipalities by sending a code 6 SMS.

The meeting of the infectious disease specialists who were called to decide on the extent of the measures to be eased also decided to keep restrictions limiting people to travel within their local municipality.

Health system struggles

Meanwhile, the National Health System is still in an extremely critical situation as the latest data shows that the daily rate for new cases hit 2,785, with 64 new deaths and 649 intubated patients.

Specifically, the total number of cases now amounts to 233,079, of which 51.6 percent are men.

Based on the confirmed cases in the last 7 days, 75 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 2,101 are related to an already known case.

The new deaths of patients with COVID-19 are 64, while since the beginning of the epidemic a total of 7,361 deaths have been recorded. 95.8 percent had an underlying disease and/or aged 70 years and older.

The number of patients treated by intubation stands at 649 (67.3 percent men). Their median age is 68 years. 82.6 percent have underlying disease and / or age 70 years and older. 1,555 patients have been discharged from the ICU since the beginning of the pandemic. The average seven-day admission rate is at 459 patients. The median age of cases is 44 years (range 0.2 to 105 years), while the median age of death is 79 years (range 0 to 103 years).

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