Concern over rising coronavirus cases at Thessaloniki aired at e-meeting chaired by PM Mitsotakis

The increasing dispersal rate of the novel coronavirus at the city of Thessaloniki and the relevant epidemiological data were discussed in a video conference chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday.

According to government sources, concern was aired at the e-meeting about the growing trend of new cases in Thessaloniki and neighboring municipalities, and the fact that the median age of new cases in the region is 33 years.

With this in mind, sources added, the need for strict implementation of all health safety measures and restrictions was underlined, to prevent Thessaloniki entering a state of orange alert.

The role of active engagement that local authorities are called to play in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic was stressed by all during the e-meeting, which was participated by State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias, Regional Governor of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikostas, Thessaloniki Mayor Konstantinos Zervas and Apostolos Tzitzikostas and infectious diseases professor Sotiris Tsiodras.

Tzitzikostas raised the significance of face masks, saying that they need to become “a daily habit, proven to be the only defense in the transmission of the coronavirus,” stressed the Governor, so as to “avoid new painful restrictive measures and the possibility of a lockdown, which would be catastrophic for both the economy and society.”

Mayor Zervas pointed up that as of Tuesday, both regular and municipal police will intensify their checks on the observance of preventive measures and restrictions by citizens, predominantly against overcrowding.

“One in two confirmed coronavirus cases in our city is people aged between sixteen and twenty-nine years old, while the average age of cases in our city is thirty-three years of age,” he noted. He also mentioned his concern about the upcoming three-day celebrations in the city, which start on October 26 with the city’ patron St. Demetrios’ day, the commemoration of the city’s liberation from Ottoman rule in 1912, on October 26-27, and the culmination of festivities with the October 28 80th anniversary of Greece’s rejection of Italy’s 1940 ultimatum for the occupation of strategic locations across the country.

“It’s something to be decided in coming days. We are a week before the festivities, but because we are so concerned about this situation, all these decisions will have been made very soon, to celebrate these three days at our city,” he noted.

The mayor said the national health agency’s medical teams have set up additional mobile testing units in the city, in parallel to increased patrols by municipal police.