Greek Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias announced that Greece will close all schools for two weeks due to the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Kikilias said that the list of institutions includes public and private kindergartens, primary schools, trade schools and universities.
“This extraordinary measure is for preventive reasons aimed at reducing the spread of the virus in the community,” the minister said to the Greek press. “In this context, special care is immediately provided for working parents of students. Special care is also provided for businesses that are affected [by the virus]. “Once again, I would like to stress that we must all take individual responsibility and, in the case of parents, [they must] confine their children, as the measure aims to reduce the spread of the disease.”
The minister’s announcement comes via Twitter, where he wrote:
“Based on the recommendation of the Infectious Diseases Committee, the government has decided to suspend the operation of the country’s educational institutions for 14 days and for preventive reasons, in order to reduce the spread of the virus in the community.”
The government reportedly made the decision because children were found to carry the virus at a high rate despite showing no symptoms.
The number of orphaned children with coronavirus is reportedly five as the government expects more to be announced tomorrow. But health officials do not consider them likely to transmit the disease.
Greece has seen a steady increase in cases over the past week, including today’s announcement that Olympiakos soccer club owner Evangelos Marinakis tested positive for the virus.
Thessaloniki saw the country’s first case emerge on February 26. The 38-year-old female patient had recently traveled from an area of northern Italy, which has since been placed under national quarantine by that country’s government.
Featured image: Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant inside a classroom at a primary school in Athens on March 9 / AP Photo
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