Greece recorded a daily record of 1,259 COVID-19 infections on Tuesday while one of the country’s top ministers tested positive for the virus.
The latest spike followed 715 new cases on Monday while Greece has been reporting a steady increase in cases since early October — and at least 700 new cases per day since October 21.
Authorities also recorded 12 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.
Following a national address from Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, curfews between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. went into effect in Athens and Thessaloniki this past weekend.
Sotiris Tsiodras, a leading epidemiologist and top scientific advisor to the government, pleaded with the public to follow social distancing protocols.
“We all know what should be done, but we can’t get into everyone’s conscience,” Tsiodras said during a press conference. “It’s a matter of personal responsibility. Now is the time for the voice of conscience to speak.”
Tsiodras had taken a hiatus from daily TV appearances early in the pandemic once Greece largely halted the spread of the virus as of late May.
“Unfortunately, our personal freedoms are being curtailed, but a face mask is our only option,” Tsiodras said. “I haven’t been to a restaurant or a cafe since February.”
Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Niki Kerameus announced via Twitter that she and her husband tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
“My husband had symptoms of #covid19 and we were both checked. Both of our results came out positive,” Kerameus wrote. “I have not shown any symptoms and I will remain in isolation according to the instructions of the experts.”
Greece has now recorded 32,752 cases and 593 deaths from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
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