Greece extends lockdown, tightens restrictions to stem surge in COVID-19 cases




  • In US
  • 2021-03-03 16:48:28Z
  • By Reuters
 

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has extended a lockdown and tightened restrictions in more areas of the country to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic after a surge in new infections piled pressure on its health system, authorities said on Wednesday.

With 6,597 deaths, Greece has fared better than other European countries since its first case was reported a year ago. But despite a lockdown in Athens for more than two weeks, infections have showed no sign of receding.

Authorities reported 2,702 daily infections on Wednesday, the highest daily figure recorded this year, and up from 2,353 the previous day. There were 40 deaths.

"The health system is under unbearable pressure," Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias told a regular news briefing.

The lockdown in the wider Athens region, where intensive care units have faced severe pressure, has been extended by a week to March 16, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said.

To avert overcrowding, the government, which is counting on the summer tourist season to bring desperately needed revenues, imposed tighter curbs on movement, including on outdoor exercise, and has restricted supermarket shopping to a 2-km (1.2-mile) radius from people's homes.

Kikilias called on the public to "take care, abide by the restrictions, and do not relax."

"We are at the most difficult phase," he said.

Non-essential shops and schools in Athens are closed and most workers are encouraged to work from home.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras has estimated the monthly cost of strict COVID-19 lockdown restrictions to the economy at about 3 billion euros ($3.62 billion).

About 1 million Greeks, out of a population of about 10 million, have been vaccinated so far. Another 750,000 vaccinations were expected by the end of the month, health authorities said.

($1 = 0.8286 euros)

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Lefteris Papadimas; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic
Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic
  • World
  • 2021-04-10 21:09:49Z

Iran on Saturday began enforcing tightened COVID restrictions nationwide as the number of coronavirus cases surged.Driving the news: The country on Friday...

Michigan
Michigan's Virus Cases Are Out of Control, Putting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a Bind

Nowhere in America is the coronavirus pandemic more out of control than in Michigan. Outbreaks are ripping through workplaces, restaurants, churches and...

In GOP strongholds, a big push on
In GOP strongholds, a big push on 'culture war' legislation
  • World
  • 2021-04-10 14:28:38Z

An ardent abortion foe who once opposed allowing gay couples to be foster parents, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is the unlikeliest figure to complain about...

Supreme Court Lifts California Restrictions on Private Religious Gatherings
Supreme Court Lifts California Restrictions on Private Religious Gatherings

The Supreme Court overturned California's restrictions on religious gatherings in private homes, in a 5-4 ruling on Friday evening. The majority criticized...

Iran enforces 10-day lockdown amid fourth wave of pandemic
Iran enforces 10-day lockdown amid fourth wave of pandemic
  • World
  • 2021-04-10 12:34:36Z

Iran on Saturday began a 10-day lockdown amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, state TV reported, a worrisome trend after more than a year of the...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US