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Greece launches free self-test packages for COVID-19

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greek pharmacies on Wednesday launched a series of self-administered coronavirus tests, each of which was free once a week as part of a large stream of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Priority for home tests is given to teachers aged 16-18, high school students, as the authorities consider reopening schools, at least for certain classes. A committee of Greek medical experts meeting with the coronavirus was meeting on Wednesday, and an announcement was expected in the evening about the conditions under which the schools will reopen.

Alternate Health Minister Vasilis Kontozamanis said the test would be distributed to the population on Thursday. Tests include simple nasal swabs and are easily performed without the need for a health care professional.

Referring to complaints from some pharmacists that the tests were delivered not in individual packages but in 25 packages, forcing pharmacists to repackage them for distribution, Kontozamanis said future deliveries would be in individual packages.

Greece has been under blockade restrictions since early November, and schools have been largely closed since then, although they reopened briefly in the first few weeks of this year. Only special education schools remained open throughout.

Authorities were considering reopening schools, particularly for high school graduates, where students prepare for university entrance exams. Health officials said that students who do not check their self-examination և have a statement signed by their parents confirming a negative result will not be allowed to attend classes.

Anyone who is positive should post it on the government website and have to undergo a repeat PCR test.

Despite months of travel restrictions, gatherings, bars, restaurants, and retail stores closing for months, cases of coronavirus are on the rise in Greece. Hospitals are overcrowded, and many intensive care units are within capacity. The country of 11 million on Tuesday reported a record daily number of cases with 4,309 newly confirmed cases և 79 deaths, bringing the total death toll to more than 8,530.

Despite the big waves, retail stores in most parts of the country reopened on Monday for appointments only. Cafes, restaurants և bars remain closed և only allowed on pick-up or drop-off, until 9 to 5 pm curfew և people have the right to leave the house only for certain reasons հետո after sending a text message to the authorities. or having a self-declaration form. Masks are mandatory in all enclosed և outdoor public areas.

But after five months of restrictions, many openly burst into flames; crowds outside cafes and bars in the evening became drinkers in plastic cups.

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