Greek health authorities announced on Monday that there have been 97 new cases of coronavirus crop up in the last four days — 52 of them since Sunday — in what is an alarming spike of infections since the country lifted most of the restrictions imposed in March.
According to authorities, in 30 instances, the virus was diagnosed in travelers who had entered the country from abroad, but there were 29 diagnoses in residents of the regional unit of Xanthi, in northeastern Greece.
The total number of confirmed cases for Greece now stands at 3,049, including all those who have recovered and 182 deaths, since Feb. 26 when the first infection was diagnosed. Greece was in full lockdown from March 23 to May 4, and only in the past month have restrictions on business and social life been gradually lifted.
“Anyone who thinks we have gotten rid of the coronavirus is wrong,” the head of Greece’s Civil Protection, Nikos Hardalias warned before urging citizens to stay on alert and observe all hygiene rules, including social distancing.
“The virus is in decline, but this doesn’t mean it’s gone,” he cautioned.
Authorities are alarmed over several instances across the country where rules were broken over the weekend. A popular bar on Mykonos was ordered to shut down for a total of 60 days for breaking the social distancing rules imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas warned on Monday that national authorities will impose a new lockdown in regions which flout the coronavirus-imposed rules.
“We will re-impose the lock down locally if we see a problem somewhere, whether it’s in a neighborhood, or a health facility or a school. It may even concern a geographical area, an island or a prefecture. Everything is on the table. The corona virus has not disappeared. We should not relax our precautions,” he added, speaking in an interview on SKAI Television.