The authorities are fighting against the coronavirus on Mount Athos, where a 76-year-old monk has already passed away due to COVID-19.
The governor of Mount Athos, Athanasios Martinos, in an interview with grtimes.gr, spoke of the coronavirus cases found in the area of the Athonite peninsula and the measures taken against the spread of the virus. “The situation is under control. Six monasteries are currently in quarantine, which is in fact coming to an end. Cases of monks who contracted the virus have been reported recently. A 76-year-old monk, who had some underlying diseases, passed away due to the virus last Saturday,” Athanasios Martinos added.
According to Athanasios Martinos, seven monks (four in Thessaloniki, three in Polygyros) are currently being treated in hospitals in Thessaloniki and Polygyros, one of whom also has underlying diseases. “The other monks are monitored as a pulse oximeters are used by the Health Center in Karyes. Only one monk with mobility problems was not taken to hospital but he is also being monitored by pulse oximeters,” he said.
When he was asked whether the measures were applied in the monasteries and cells of Mount Athos, where about 1200-1300 monks and 400-500 monks live respectively, he replied that it was not the case in some monasteries and, as a result, almost everyone contracted the virus.
Rapid tests at entrance gates of Athonite peninsula
“Several coronavirus cases came to light and, therefore, rapid tests are being carried out at the entrance gates of the peninsula. Three positive cases have been found so far, one sailor and two staff members. They did not show any symptoms and, as a result, they were not allowed to enter the peninsula”, he said. “The Health Center and the monasteries had been given rapid tests which were used for those who showed symptoms or were deemed as possible coronavirus cases,” he added.
It is recalled that from Monday, the 7th of December 2020, visits of people who do not live on Mount Athos are not allowed. However, entry is allowed to those working in ongoing projects and to civil servants working there.