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Greece Ramps Up Coronavirus Testing As Cases Decline

Police conducted strict checks on travelers leaving Athens on Thursday, with many cars being sent back to the city, as Greeks tried to rush out to their ancestral villages for Easter. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece recorded 2,435 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, 878 fewer cases than those recorded on Wednesday.

Additionally, the country recorded that there were 817 patients with Covid-19 on ventilators on Thursday, which is four more than the 813 patients undergoing the invasive treatment in the country yesterday, Wednesday.

A total of 71,099 coronavirus tests were conducted across the country during the day, bringing the positivity rate to 3.49% in Greece, which is the lowest it’s been this week.

The positivity rate on Wednesday was 4.31%, and the rate on Tuesday was 5.89%.

Tragically, 73 people suffering from the coronavirus passed away in the country over the past 24-hour period, which represents 19 fewer individuals than those who died with the virus on Wednesday.

Greece “green” on Covid-19 map with a weekly positivity rate under 4%

Greece coronavirus.
The ECDC’s Covid-19 map indicating positivity rates. Credit: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Despite the country’s increased coronavirus numbers, Greece is one of the few “green” countries on the ECDC’s Covid-19 map, indicating a weekly positivity rate of under 4%.

Only a small number of countries, including Cyprus, Norway, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovenia and Iceland are completely “green.” Areas of Spain and Italy are also green.

The rest of Europe is “orange,” indicating that they had a weekly positivity rate over 4%.

Greece has high testing rate for the coronavirus

Greece coronavirus
The ECDC’s coronavirus map indicating testing rates. Credit: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Greece’s testing rates have also been above average in comparison with the country’s European counterparts.

Over 5,000 Covid-19 tests per 100,000 residents were conducted in the country in the past week, making Greece one of the few countries with the “dark green” distinction, along with Cyprus, Portugal, Iceland and Czechia.

This is the second week in a row that Greece has received this distinction.

The majority of Europe is a lighter green, a designation that indicates a testing rate of 1,000 to 2,499 per 100,000 people in the last week.

1,151 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Attica alone; 347 in Thessaloniki

Of the 2,435 new coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 1,151 were located in Attica, home to the Greek capital city of Athens.

This means that more than half of all coronavirus cases diagnosed in the past 24 hours were located in Attica.

Tests showed that in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 347 cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed in the last 24 hours.

Over 10,000 total coronavirus deaths in Greece

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 340,158 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the country, including all those who have recovered from the virus.

Of the cases diagnosed in Greece in the past seven days, just 49 are associated with foreign travel and 2,478 have been linked to contact with a known case.

On Thursday alone, 484 people with the coronavirus were admitted to hospitals in Greece.

Of the 817 patients intubated currently, 85.6% are over the age of 70 or suffer from preexisting conditions. Their average age is 68.

Additionally, a total of 2,070 patients have been discharged from ICUs around the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

The 73 new deaths recorded on Thursday bring the total number of fatalities in the country to 10,252; 95.5% of those who have passed away with the virus were over the age of 70 or suffered from underlying health issues.

The average age of those who have tragically died due to coronavirus in Greece is 78 years old.

Updated coronavirus measures for restaurants

Nikos Chardalias, Greece’s Minister for Civil Protection, announced a series of new Covid-19 measures on Wednesday.

When restaurants and cafes open on May 3, Greeks will be required to send the number six (6) to the toll-free number 13033 in order to be able to go out to eat or to have a coffee.

Currently, the country’s curfew runs from 10 PM to 5 AM. On Monday, May 3, it will move one hour later, starting at 11 PM, and lasting until 5 AM.

Similarly, citizens will still have to send a message for all their other movements until May 15, when Greece has planned its “full opening” to international tourists for the summer season.

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