On Wednesday, a migrant and refugee identification and reception center on the Greek island of Chios was closed down after what the Greek health authorities termed “numerous” new coronavirus cases were diagnosed there.
In a press release, the Migration Ministry said that the lockdown, which was decided upon by Greece’s Ministries of Migration, Health and Citizen Protection, will stand until October 21. No exact figures were given as to the extent of the outbreak.
The officials also stated that they had requested that the National Public Health Organization (EODY) create an emergency team at the camp for the purposes of contact tracing and for the treatment of the virus among the camp’s inhabitants.
The press release also noted that women at the facility who are more than five months pregnant will be transferred as soon as possible to the Greek mainland so that they will not have to give birth in the same hospital that houses Covid patients. They will be living in the vicinity of Greece’s already-established Covid-19 referral hospitals.
The Greek government has now imposed the wearing of face coverings in all enclosed workplaces as well as open-air public areas where there is the possibility of crowding. Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias, in announcing the ruling, said that this stricter measure applies nationwide, irrespective of the prevalence of the virus in any particular locality.
At the same briefing Gkikas Magiorkinis, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Athens University, told the press that October would be a difficult month for the country because the falling temperatures of Autumn could play a part in an increase of cases.
However, he cautioned, “If we stay at this level, we’re alright.”