Using boats, GPS and a portable refrigerator, doctors developed by EODY have begun testing for coronavirus in the Aegean islands before the summer holidays, according to the British newspaper Daily Mail.
To prevent the increase in infections, the ferries operate at a reduced capacity. Hospitals on the Greek islands are receiving resources to create intensive care units.
Many smaller islands with only basic medical facilities are being assisted by local aid groups such as Symplefsi, which provided volunteers and inflatable boats to help doctors from state health services perform tests on remote islands such as Sikinos. The island is 30 km northwest of Santorini and has a population of 260 people.
“Our goal is to make residents feel safer (with) faster intervention when required for residents or tourists,” said Panagiotis Arkoumaneas, president of the National Public Health Organization, while taking part in the island’s testing initiative. “That’s why we’re strengthening our islands, we’re strengthening our capacity. We need to do COVID testing,” Mr Arkoumaneas said.
“The ferry service for visitors to the islands has been reopening since Monday and Greece plans to resume international travelers on June 15. The government hopes that the comparatively low number of confirmed cases of deaths and deaths in Greece – just under 2,900 cases with 173 deaths – it will attract foreign tourists and mitigate the effects of an expected recession, “the tabloid said.
According to the newspaper, while many residents of the island are dependent on tourism for their livelihoods, they have also been relieved of their isolation during the pandemic and are worried about opening up to foreigners.
“Things are going well so far. … Now with the people who will come, what will happen?” wonders Katerina Vikeli, a resident of Milos.
According to the Ministry of Health, the entire chain of Cycladic islands, which includes Milos as well as the popular holiday destinations of Paros, Naxos, Mykonos and Santorini, represents only four of the country’s total reported cases. At the same time, only three of the virus deaths occurred on inhabited islands, while there are more than 200 inhabited islands.