Greece closes schools, bars gatherings in three regions

By: AFP      Published: 03:48 PM, 5 Mar, 2020
Greece closes schools, bars gatherings in three regions

Greece on Thursday closed schools and universities while cancelling sports events and other public gatherings in three western regions as infections from the new coronavirus rose to ten.

The health authorities said the two-day shutdown included "a suspension of all mass gatherings" at theatres, cinemas, museums and sports events in the Peloponnese regions of Achaia and Elis and the island of Zakynthos through Friday.

The measures announced late Wednesday by the national public health organisation (EODY) came after a 66-year-old man was hospitalised with the virus at a hospital in Patras, western Greece.

The man, who had recently returned from a trip to Israel and Egypt, has acute pneumonia and is in stable condition, EODY said.

His wife has also tested positive for the virus, reports said. The stricken couple brought the total number of coronavirus cases to ten, according to officials.

Ancient Olympia, where the flame for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled to be lit on March 12, is situated in Elis.

The Greek Olympic Committee this week said it was drastically scaling back accreditations "to those absolutely necessary", limiting festivities and cancelling all event dinners and galas.

The situation will be re-evaluated regularly, it added.

The coronavirus outbreak has infected more than 95,000 people worldwide and killed over 3,200.