Since our last post from August 6th in 2160 there was no news from Athos, concerning the pandemic. But two days ago Romfea.gr reported that an outbreak of Covid-19 occured in the Agiou Paulou monastery (in English read more here). The information states that eight confirmed cases of coronavirus were found. One of the fathers had to be transported to a hospital outside Mount Athos. The monastery is in quarantine and further visits are suspended until September 27th.
30/9: The monk from the Monastery of Saint Paul on Mount Athos, who had been intubated at the General Hospital of Thessaloniki was finally extubated after his multi-day battle with the corona virus. The monk was found to be negative for the Covid 19 virus and so he will not even need to be treated at the Covid clinic. Instead, he will be transferred to the Pulmonary Clinic of the hospital and will remain there until he is discharged.
The latest news from from yesterday 22/9 is (source: vimaorthodoxias) that within the monastery of Agiou Paulou there are five confirmed cases and two cases are in hospitals in Thessaloniki, one of them 85-year old monk. Two new cases are found in the monastery of Chilandariou and in Lakou Skiti, that makes a total of nine (or ten) cases that have been discovered on Mount Athos.
22/9 19.20 h.: After an extraordinary meeting of the Holy Community this afternoon the amount of pilgrims is set up to ten visitors per monastery, as a measure to curb the COVID-19 spread. It also prohibits the movement of visitors to a monastery other than the one for which approval is given. And for foreigners: a special corona-test is obliged.
24/9: Panteleimonos and Lavra monasteries have been on lockdown. 200 monks have been tested negative on the virus.
I hope the virus will be contained and that will not spread over the pensisula, because it might cause a disaster! The expectation is that the Holy Epistasía soon will come with stricter measures to prefend the spreading of the virus on Athos.
And isn’t it strange that at the same time this news appears on Romfea.gr:
The Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Misustin will pay a two-day pilgrimage to Mount Athos on Thursday. The Russian official is coming unofficially and according to information he will go to Karyes where he will meet with the Mount Athos leadership and will stay at the Holy Monastery of Panteleimonos.
How is it possible that government leaders are setting the wrong example and why should you go to Athos in these times? What makes politicians different and how irresponsible can you be?
Wim Voogd, 22/9