As Italy has extended its already draconian coronavirus quarantine measures to the entire country, Greece announced the closure of all educational institutions in the country for 14 days. Earlier it announced another five cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number to 89.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the threat of a pandemic is “very real” but stressed the virus could still be controlled, as the worldwide death toll passed 4,000, and the number of infections is now at over 114,000.
Latest updates on Tuesday
22:05: The EU decided to set up a fund of €25 billion to tackle a potential economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. EU fiscal rules on state aid will be relaxed to facilitate public spending where needed across the EU.
20:30: Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis participated in a teleconference with other EU leaders on Tuesday, where he said that the governments need fiscal space to help those who will be hurt by the outbreak.
19:55: Greece’s OPEN TV broadcaster announced that it will not allow any audiences to attend recordings of the station’s TV shows.
19:40: Shocking news continues to arrive from Italy. 168 more people died between Monday and Tuesday, raising the death toll to 631. The total number of coronavirus cases there has now topped 10,000.
18:45: The Medicines Agency of the European Union (EMA) announced on Tuesday that no drug shortages or supply disruptions have been reported in Europe. However, it noted that shortages or disruptions cannot be excluded at some point in the future.
18:35: In addition to schools, Education Minister Niki Kerameus said that all private tutoring lessons (known as ”frontistiria”) will have to cease their operations for 14 days as well.
18:25: Ryanair, one of Europe’s largest airlines, suspends all flights to and from Italy until April 8.
17:40: A Greek commentator on Twitter seems not too happy about the government’s decision to close schools, kindergartens and universities for two weeks. “14 days at home with wife and kids may save you from coronavirus, but not from divorce,” he writes.
14 μέρες σπίτι με γυναίκα και παιδιά μπορεί να γλιτώσεις από το κορονοιό, αλλά δύσκολα θα γλιτώσεις από το διαζύγιο
— Βαγγεληηηηηηηη!! (@eVaN_GiAn) March 10, 2020
17:20: Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced that Greece’s schools and universities will remain closed for the next 14 days. Full story here.
16:25: Cyprus announces additional measures, including the ban of all gatherings of more than 75 people in public places.
Σειρά μέτρων αποφάσισε σήμερα το Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο για αντιμετώπιση της επιδημίας του κορωνοϊού⬇️
16:20: Greece’s Aegean Airlines offers the chance to its customers to change the dates of their purchased tickets free of charge due to the coronavirus outbreak.
16:15: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will attend a teleconference at 18.00 (EET) with other EU leaders to coordinate efforts to tackle the coronavirus problem.
16:10: Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras spoke on the phone with Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias on Tuesday and was briefed about the outbreak in the country.
Ο νέος κορωνοϊός δε δοκιμάζει μόνο την αντοχή της Δημόσιας υγείας.Κυρίως θα δοκιμάσει και τη συνοχή της κοινωνίας μας. Μπορούμε όμως να τον νικήσουμε. Η κυβέρνηση οφείλει να πάρει άμεσα γενναία μέτρα για τη στήριξη του Εθνικού Συστήματος Υγείας, σε ανθρώπινο δυναμικό και σε υλικοτεχνική υποδομή. Προτείνουμε να δημιουργήσει άμεσα διακομματική επιτροπή μέσω της οποίας θα προκηρυχθούν 4.000 νέες θέσεις μόνιμων γιατρών και νοσηλευτών. Τουλάχιστον 1.000 επαγγελματίες Υγείας πρέπει τις επόμενες μέρες να ενισχύσουν τις ΜΕΘ και τα Τμήματα Επειγόντων Περιστατικών. Ταυτόχρονα πρέπει να ανανεωθούν όλες οι συμβάσεις, για οποιαδήποτε κατηγορία προσωπικού του ΕΣΥ, που λήγουν τους επόμενους μήνες.Χρειάζεται ένα έκτακτο κονδύλι τουλάχιστον 150 εκατ. ευρώ, ώστε να μπορεί να αντιμετωπιστεί τόσο η μετατροπή μεγάλων νοσοκομειακών μονάδων σε ειδικές μονάδες νοσηλείας, όσο και η αγορά εξοπλισμού ΜΕΘ, για τη στελέχωσή τους.Αντίστοιχα έκτακτα μέτρα όμως η κυβέρνηση οφείλει να λάβει και για τις επιπτώσεις στην οικονομία. Ήδη, πολύ πριν κάνει την εμφάνισή του ο νέος ιός, τα αποτελέσματα της ΕΛΣΤΑΤ διέψευσαν παταγωδώς το αφήγημα περί μεγέθυνσης των ρυθμών ανάπτυξης.Η κυβέρνηση της ΝΔ παρέλαβε την οικονομία να τρέχει με ρυθμούς 2,8% το καλοκαίρι και το Δεκέμβρη την οδήγησε στο 1%. Με τα νέα δεδομένα δε, που δημιουργεί ο νέος ιός, είναι προφανές ότι οι στόχοι του προϋπολογισμού έχουν ήδη εκτροχιαστεί. Η κυβέρνηση οφείλει να φέρει άμεσα προς ψήφιση συμπληρωματικό προϋπολογισμό με επαναπροσδιορισμό της προβλεπόμενης ανάπτυξης και νέα αναπτυξιακά μέτρα για την θωράκιση της οικονομίας. Αυτό βεβαίως προϋποθέτει άμεση διεκδίκηση μείωσης του στόχου για τα πρωτογενή πλεονάσματα του 2020.Η κυβέρνηση οφείλει επίσης να αναστείλει τώρα τον σχεδιασμό της για κατάργηση της προστασίας της πρώτης κατοικίας. Είναι αδιανόητο, την ώρα που θα πρέπει συμπολίτες μας να μπαίνουν σε κατ’οίκον περιορισμό, η ΝΔ να επιτρέπει στα funds να βγάζουν ολόκληρες οικογένειες έξω από τα σπίτια τους.Η κυβέρνηση οφείλει να ακούσει και να υλοποιήσει τις προτάσεις μας. Έχει χρέος και κοινωνική ευθύνη. Αλλά όλοι έχουμε ευθύνη. Τα κόμματα, η εκκλησία, οι συλλογικοί φορείς της κοινωνίας μας. Όλοι μαζί, με τη συμπεριφορά μας, μπορούμε να δείξουμε ότι νοιαζόμαστε για τον διπλανό μας, για τον ευάλωτο συνάνθρωπό μας. Είναι ζήτημα κοινής λογικής και ανθρωπιάς. https://bit.ly/334Nvcw
Posted by Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday, March 10, 2020
14:50: The Athens stock exchange was recovering on Tuesday after Monday’s heavy losses, prompted by fears regarding the spread of coronavirus. The basic share price index was up 7.80 percent, standing at 639.34 points, and turnover was at 35.87 million euros.
14:45: Greek supermarket chain “Masoutis” announced on Tuesday that it is closing its shop in the town of Plomari on Lesvos Island for three days after an employee was diagnosed with coronavirus. It is the first case of the epidemic on the Aegean island.
14:30: EU leaders are to hold a crisis teleconference on Tuesday as part of their ongoing efforts to tackle the coronavirus, Reuters reports. The announcement came after Italy and France called for Europe-wide fiscal stimulus to counter the economic impact of the epidemic.
14:20: President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos on Tuesday spoke on the phone with Sergio Mattarella, the President of the Italian Republic. He expressed the full support of the Greek people for the Italian people during the difficult times they are experiencing as a result of the spread of the coronavirus.
14:15: Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was filmed shaking hands with a health official — after telling people to avoid handshakes because of the coronavirus.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte shook hands with a health official after telling people to avoid handshakes because of the #coronavirus
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 10, 2020
14:00: A memorial march for the victims of the Holocaust which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 15 in Thessaloniki has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the municipality announced on Tuesday.
13:30: The Greek Finance Ministry is preparing legislation to address shortages of antiseptics due to the coronavirus outbreak. In particular, quantities of ethyl alcohol seized or confiscated as contraband goods will be presented free of charge to the Health Ministry for use in manufacturing antiseptics.
According to the Athens Macedonia News Agency (AMNA), the state is in possession of at least 120 tons of seized or confiscated ethyl alcohol.
13:20: New York University has become the latest American university to announce it will stop in-person teaching and switch to remote learning for all of its 50,000 students, starting tomorrow. Last week, several universities on the west coast of the US, including Stanford, announced they were switching to remote learning, and this week several on the east coast are following suit, including NYU, Colombia and Princeton.
13:05: Greek shipping tycoon Evangelos Marinakis, who is also the owner of the football clubs Olympiacos in Greece and Nottingham Forest in England, announced on Facebook that he is the latest victim of the coronavirus.
#Marinakis #HealthStatement #Message
12:20: Lebanon has recorded its first death from the coronavirus, local broadcasters reported, adding that the patient had been in quarantine since returning from Egypt.
12:10: British Airways says it has cancelled all flights to and from Italy as of today.
11:45: Pope Francis has urged Catholic priests on Tuesday to “have the courage” to go out and help those sickened by the novel coronavirus, hours after Italy was placed on a nationwide lockdown.
11:40: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday visited Wuhan, the city at the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak. This is the first time the President has traveled to the outbreak’s epicenter since Wuhan was placed under lockdown on Jan. 23.
The bulk of the 80,754 confirmed cases and 3,136 deaths reported on mainland China have been in Wuhan.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 10, 2020
11:30: A 65-year-old German tourist tested positive for the coronavirus in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus, according to Turkish Cypriot media on Tuesday.
11:10: Greek authorities say that the condition of a 66-year-old man in a hospital isolation unit in the western port city of Patras is now “very serious.” He had been among a group of Greek citizens who contracted the coronavirus after traveling to Israel and Egypt on a tour of religious sites.
11:00: Footage from Italy shows that long queues had formed in front of supermarkets in Rome and Naples after the government extended the “Red Zone” to all of Italy on Monday.
Coronavirus, dopo l’annuncio di Conte lunghe code in tutti i supermercati
Lunghe code davanti ai supermercati a Roma e Napoli dopo il provvedimento annunciato dal premier Giuseppe Conte che ha esteso la “zona rossa” a tutta l’Italia. #restateacasa @fanpage pic.twitter.com/3i7hBAXw7a
— Salvo Sottile (@salvosottile) March 9, 2020
10:30: French Culture Minister Franck Riester has tested positive for the coronavirus and he has reported that he is self quarantining. The French health authority in its daily briefing on Monday evening said there were now 1,412 cases in France — showing a huge increase of 286 on the previous day. There have been 25 deaths from the virus, including 10 women, 15 men.
10:20: The Greek Ministry of Labor is considering the implementation of flexible working hours and working from home as part of its plan to address the impact of coronavirus in Greece, protothema.gr reports.
10:10: The American College of Greece, Deree, announced on Tuesday that it is shutting down operations for 48 hours after a case of coronavirus was confirmed on its campus in Athens. Full story here
09:50: Greece announced another five cases of coronavirus early on Tuesday, bringing its overall number to 89. According to health authorities, four of the new cases are related to patients already known to have contracted the virus. The fifth victim is a person who recently arrived from London.
09:40: As scientists have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to find a potential treatment, it emerged on Monday that Dr. George Scangos, a Greek-American researcher from Massachusetts, was tasked by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization to coordinate the scientific community towards a cure.
09:35: Cyprus’ largest hospital suspended most services on Tuesday, authorities said, after a medical doctor heading the coronary surgical ward tested positive for the coronavirus. He is one of two cases on the island.
09:20: Of the current 89 cases in Greece, 86 are Greek nationals and the rest are foreign visitors. Of the total, 56 are part of the group that was infected during a trip to the Holy Land: 47 went on the tour and nine were people they later came in contact with.
09:00: The Greek Ministry of Education advised families to visit its web page (www.minedu.gov.gr) on a regular basis in order to find out whether schools have suspended operations for preventative reasons due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The list includes public and private schools in Athens and Thessaloniki and several prefectures throughout Greece that will be shut down, for varying durations.
Live updates on Monday