Greece into second lockdown as Coronavirus cases increases

Via the Independent
Via the Independent

In an effort to stop the rise in coronavirus infections before the pressure on the country's healthcare system becomes "unbearable," Greece's prime minister announced a nationwide three-week lockdown.

"Again, I chose to take drastic measures sooner rather than later," Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, adding that over the past five days, Greece had experienced an "aggressive increase in cases."

Under the new lockdown measures, which take effect until 30 November on Saturday, all shops except pharmacies and food stores around the country will close. Restaurants can deliver meals but are closed to customers.

For work, medical appointments, or physical exercise, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes and will need a time-slot to venture outside.

The main difference from the lockdown imposed by the country in the spring is that kindergartens and primary schools will remain open. High schools, on a remote learning basis, will close and operate.

Greece has reported fewer cases of coronavirus than other European countries both now and in the spring when starting in February, it introduced incisive restrictions early in the pandemic.

But yesterday, it reported a record-high 18 fatalities and 2,646 new cases, prompting researchers to say that the resurgence was particularly aggressive.

To date, Greece has confirmed 46,892 cases of coronavirus and 673 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

By confirming the latest measures, Greece joined a growing list of European countries that are struggling to contain the disease by imposing new lockdowns or other restrictions.

On Thursday morning, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced that, after France had already introduced a national lockdown, the French capital would be placed under yet more restrictions.

In a bid to curb the second wave, more stores will have to close earlier in the evening.

The mayor said the measures were necessary because some residents were not complying with existing rules, putting a large number of people's health at risk.

The news came two days after the highest Covid-19 death toll in any European country since the spring-854 deaths on Tuesday was recorded by France.

Similarly, on Wednesday night, as Italy's caseload continues to increase, the Italian government introduced new lockdowns in the country's four worst-affected regions and tightened restrictions elsewhere.

The Piedmont, Calabria, Valle d'Aosta, and Lombardy regions, the first spring coronavirus outbreak in the west, will be locked down on Friday until at least 3 December.

On Thursday, the Norwegian government also tightened restrictions. All bars must close at midnight, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg told Norwegians not to travel domestically and to stay as much as possible at home instead.

Last week, Norway had already introduced new gathering restrictions.

In the last couple of days, Germany and Belgium have also ordered national lockdowns.

Publish : 2020-11-05 20:34:00

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