Greek health authorities announced 55 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday in what is the highest jump in the number of cases for weeks.
Authorities say that most of the cases were recorded in Thrace, northeastern Greece, and in particular at the prefectures of Rodopi and Xanthi.
Two communities in these areas, Echinos and Agiasma, have already been placed in a “soft” lockdown quarantine and night curfew.
Two of the last victims to have died in the last 24 hours were from the village of Echinos in mountainous Xanthi, raising the total coronavirus death toll in the country to 187.
Health experts attribute the surge of COVID-19 cases in the area to the neglect of safety measures and overcrowding in the small, enclosed communities of the majority Muslim population. Extended families often gather together and perform their religious rituals at home and as a result, the virus spreads quickly among them and in the community in general.
Just 11 people remain in intensive care units around the country, with the median age of those patients being 69. At the same time, 117 people who were at one time confined to the ICU have now left intensive care and have recovered.