The monastic community of Mount Athos is on high alert, after twenty cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in the monks belonging to the many monasteries on the peninsula.
According to reports, the number cases of coronavirus came to on Wednesday, sparking concern that the virus has spread so quickly in a very short time, for the second time in recent weeks.
Aristos Kasmiroglou, the deputy governor of Mount Athos, in an interview with makthes.gr, said that the monks suffering with the virus were located in the Monasteries of Nea Sketi, Pantokratoros and Karyes.
Mount Athos monk’s condition “serious”
So far all the cases have been minor, causing a minimum of problems, but one monk has been transported to a hospital in Thessaloniki and begun to receive treatment there.
His condition was characterized as serious.
The vaccination campaign against the coronavirus is ongoing all over Greece, and Mt. Athos is no exception.
The administration of the first doses of the vaccine has already begun in the monastic communities of Mount Athos, which are home to approximately 2,000 monks. The current period is considered critical, experts say, in order to achieve immunity in the local population as quickly as possible.
Several of the monks living on Mount Athos have been vaccinated at this point and inoculations will continue normally again on Friday, according to Kasmiroglou.
The mountain and peninsula in northeastern Greece is an important center of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. It is governed as an autonomous polity within the Hellenic Republic. Mount Athos is home to twenty different monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
Mount Athos is commonly referred to in Greek as Άγιον Όρος, or “Holy Mountain,” and the entity as the “Athonite State” (Αθωνική Πολιτεία, Athonikí Politía).
Bishop dies with Covid in January
The Metropolitan of Kastoria, Serapheim, passed away after suffering from the coronavirus at a Thessaloniki hospital in the early hours of Tuesday, January 26.
He was sixty-one years of age.
Serapheim, the Metropolitan of the northern Greek city of Kastoria, was admitted to Thessaloniki’s 424 General Military Training Hospital with mild symptoms of the disease back on December 8 of 2020.
His condition started to deteriorate rapidly on December 20 and he had to be transferred to an ICU. Metropolitan Serapheim had been ordained a bishop in 1996.
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece hospitalized with Covid in January
In late January of 2021, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos was hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The 82-year-old head of the Greek Church, who was believed to be suffering from only mild symptoms, received treatment at Evangelismos Hospital in central Athens. He was diagnosed as positive for the coronavirus on January 25.
“I personally participate as a shepherd in the ordeal that affects thousands of our brothers in our country and millions throughout the universe. I share the agony, pain and fear of all, but with our Faith in God we will all overcome,” the Archbishop told his close associates shortly before he was hospitalized.
He also emphasized the sacred obligation of all to respect the rules and measures of health authorities to “protect the supreme value of human health and life.”