Greece’s COVID-19 death toll climbs to 8, more restrictive measures announced

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Greece’s Health Ministry announced on Friday that two patients infected with the novel coronavirus have died in the past few hours, bringing the country’s total fatalities to eight and the number of confirmed cases to 495.

A total of 31 new cases were registered on Friday and 90 persons were hospitalized, including 20 in serious condition, officials said at a press briefing.

Both victims were elderly people over 80 with underlying health problems hospitalized in Athens and northern Greece.

Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crises Management at the Ministry of Citizen Protection, announced during Friday’s briefing more measures aimed to control the spread of the virus.

As of Saturday at 6:00 a.m. local time, travel on ferries is restricted to permanent island residents for absolutely necessary reasons and supply of goods, as well as those wishing to depart from the islands on the return journey.

With regard to images of increased traffic on national highways and in ports, Hardalias urged a “minority of citizens defying the measures to stay home to show responsibility and not endanger lives.”

In smaller islands and remote mountainous regions, it is more difficult to offer proper treatment to people who are infected by the virus, which, according to data so far, seems to have spread mainly in Athens, he explained.

As part of the new set of measures, until Saturday midnight all recreational ships and yachts should dock at ports until further notice, Hardalias added.

From Monday, street markets should shrink to half their current size.

Earlier, the region of Attica announced the closure of major public parks and mountain routes.

Since last week Greece has closed schools, universities, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls, retail shops, sports and cultural centers, and has been gradually imposing restrictions and bans on land, air and sea travels.

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