ATHENS, April 24 (Xinhua) — Greece reported 27 new cases of COVID-19 infection and five new deaths over the past 24 hours, raising the total confirmed cases to 2,490 and 130 dead, fresh figures showed on Friday.
According to the Greek Health Ministry’s coronavirus spokesman and infectious diseases professor Sotirios Tsiodras, among the new infections were patients and employees at a private clinic in western Athens.
A total of 37 people in the private clinic have tested positive on Thursday and Friday, Tsiodras said. Of those, three patients have passed away and 17 have been transferred to other healthcare facilities.
A public prosecutor has ordered an inquiry for three private clinics in Athens and Piraeus for laxness in observing the protocols for preventing coronavirus’ spread, Greek national news agency AMNA has reported.
In the cases of the two clinics in western and southern Athens, COVID-19 infections have been diagnosed in patients and staff. In the case of the Piraeus port clinic, authorities investigate an allegation that COVID-19 cases were not reported.
According to the Greek Criminal Code, “whoever intentionally violates measures ordered by the relevant authorities” could face jail sentences and fines. The law foresees a jail sentence of up to 10 years if violations led to an infection of a person or to death of the victim, and a life sentence if the lax measures led to the death of several people, AMNA noted.
Greece is in a nationwide lockdown which started on March 23 and is due to end on May 4, according to the latest announcements by the government. Most Greeks have complied with the measures.
UNITY AND SOLIDARITY
Repeatedly, Greek officials have called for unity and solidarity between countries across the globe against the common threat.
A total of 18 diplomats accredited to Greece, among them Chinese ambassador Zhang Qiyue, are now spreading this message, participating in an initiative taken by the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The project entitled “Staying at Home, Traveling through Literature: diplomats recite Greek literature” invites all to re-visit Greek poetry, make time at home more creative and eventually overcome the physical barriers through the power of spirit, according to an emailed press statement.
Greek Nobel laureate in literature, Odysseus Elytis, has said “poetry begins where death is robbed of the last word,” it was stressed.
The diplomats are starring in two videos released by the ministry, reciting verses of Greek poems and excerpts of Greek books in English or Greek, with the aim of raising public awareness and transmitting the message that in this fight all nations should stand together.
The Chinese ambassador chose verses from Homer’s “The Odyssey” to recite.