Of 263 Greek nationals who have returned from Spain on two flights in recent days 21 have tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Most of the passengers came from Barcelona and some from Madrid.
The entire group is quarantined in an Athens hotel. All people who return from abroad are required to self-isolate for 14 days and authorities keep track of them.
Those who violate the quarantine are fined 5,000 euros and that has happened to 17 people who have returned from abroad to date.
«A health bomb was ready to go off, spreading the disease in our country, despite all the measures and sacrifices carried out to prevent the worst from happening…Our decision to isolate those returning to Greece was based on specific protocols that are followed by all other countries where Coronavirus has spread. We noticed that most infections occurred in cities in northern Spain. We proceed to isolate all those passengers,» Underminister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias told a news conference this afternoon.
48 new cases, 20 dead
The health ministry’s spokesman regarding the Coronavirus, Professor Dimitris Tsiodras, told the daily, nationally broadcast presser that the virus spread curve appears to have relatively flattened for now.
Asked to comment on the case of a young woman who died of COVID-19 at home, he said he expected more information on possible underlying problems, especially of a chronic respiratory type.
He stressed that young people are not immune from death by the virus.
Tsiodras announced 48 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, raising Greece’s total to 743.
He said 134 infected patients are in hospital, of whom 45 are on respirators.
About 50-60 percent of patients placed on respirators do not survive.The average age of all these patients is 68, of whom 60 pct are men.
So far 32 patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.
Greece now records 20 deaths from Covid-19, while the average age of those perished was 75 years, Tsiodras added.
Tsiodras noted that some patients develop diarrhea and that many lose the sense of smell.
«We know that usually 40 pct of patients develop a loss of smell or taste after a respiratory infection,» said Tsiodras.
Lockdown enforcement, permission to leave home
Hardalias said that the overwhelming majority of Greeks have demonstrated that they understand the necessity of the restrictive measures taken and have not violated the lockdown.
Citizens must fall into one of six categories to leave their home and permission is requested and granted for a limited time period by SMS.
Those going to and returning to work must have a signed and sealed certificate from their employer which states their work schedule.
According to data from the ministry of digital governance, which processes all requests and permissions, during the first 24 hours of the restrictions on movement authorities received about 1.3 million SMS requests to leave home but a high percentage of citizens failed to complete the process.