“After having communicated with all the institutions and after the cooperation with the Health Center, I know that the situation is not difficult,” the Civil Governor of Mount Athos, Athanasios Martinos, told ANT1.
As Thanasis Martinos pointed out, “at the moment there are 30-40 confirmed cases, mainly of isolated monks who live alone, and there are 5-6 monks who are hospitalized in Thessaloniki, where we know that the situation is very difficult.”
Regarding the interventions of the Abbot of Esphigmenou Monastery, Athanasios Martinos said that his views were correct and welcomed them, and reminded that “there is the problem of the old Esphigmenou monastery. Elder Bartholomew represents the new Esphigmenou monastery and refers to the old one that is against vaccinations.”
“Currently, 75% of the monks have been vaccinated or become ill. In the monasteries there is immunity and it is safe for the monks and the visitors,” noted the Civil Governor of Mount Athos, adding that all the pilgrims before passing to Mount Athos are subjected to a rapid test.
“There is a problem in hermitages and cells on southern Mount Athos, where the monks live alone or in groups of up to 3-5 monks and there is no medical care, as in monasteries it happens that a monk is also a doctor,” Athanasios Martinos stressed, adding “how do they become infected? Either going for supplies outside Mount Athos or going to visit their family.”
He concluded by stating that “these so-called “cellists” live an ascetic life, live alone in nature, fast and it is a bit oxymoronic to get the vaccine due to their deep faith in God, but we can not say that they promote vaccination.”