Greece reports new daily record of 667 COVID-19 infections

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-21 00:58:49|Editor: huaxia

ATHENS, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Greek authorities announced on Tuesday a new record 667 confirmed COVID-19 infections within the past 24 hours.

The previous highest daily number of new cases was 508, reported on Oct. 16.

Greece has so far registered a total of 26,469 novel coronavirus infections, including 528 deaths, since the first case was diagnosed on Feb. 26 in the country, the National Public Health Organization said.

Eight people have died since Monday and 87 are hospitalized in intensive care units, according to the press release.

The spread of the virus during the second wave of the pandemic in Greece which started in August has alarmed officials and experts who are repeatedly asking the public to comply with protection measures like social distancing and mask wearing.

The government has said that a second nationwide lockdown like the one imposed in spring for over a month would be the last option. In recent weeks restrictive measures are imposed on regional level.

The highest concentration of new cases lately -- 250 out of 667 on Tuesday -- is registered in the region of Attica which is home to half of Greece's population, according to a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

The region of Thessaloniki in northern Greece followed with 125 new daily infections on Tuesday.

The overwhelming majority of infections in Greece were domestic and not linked to the opening of tourism, Greek officials reiterated during the briefing. Approximately 4.9 million arrivals were registered between July 1 and Oct. 18 this year. Out of 671,188 tests conducted, only 1,911 visitors were found positive, authorities said.

As the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including France, Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the United States are racing to find a vaccine. According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials. Enditem