News Alerts

12 Mar 2020 | 01:16 PM UTC

Greece: First COVID-19 fatality confirmed March 12 /update 6

Greece News Alert

Government confirms first COVID-19-related death March 12; further spread of the virus expected over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/12/2020, 12:00 AM until 3/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Athens). COUNTRY/REGION Greece

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Event

On Thursday, March 12, the Ministry of Health confirmed the first coronavirus (COVID-19)-related death in Greece. The patient was a 66-year-old Greek man hospitalized in the city of Patras.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced several measures aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday, March 11. He confirmed that all educational institutes will close for 14 days from Wednesday, and announced a nationwide ban on mass gatherings - including in churches. The decision will also affect sports venues, museums, 2020 Olympic Torch Ceremonies, March 25 Independence Day celebrations, and other gatherings at public sites.

As of March 11, health officials have confirmed 99 cases of COVID-19 nationwide. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the outbreak as pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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