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New Greek coronavirus cases include ship crew and migrant mum

Athens, Greece, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Greece reported 102 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, including 20 people on a ship and a female asylum seeker who recently gave birth in hospital in Athens, the first recorded case among thousands of migrants kept in overcrowded camps.

Authorities said they were attempting to trace where the woman had become infected and looking at the possibility it may have been at the hospital.

She had been in a migrant camp on the Greek mainland which hosts up to 2,500 people.

Nobody else at the camp has tested positive, migration ministry sources said. The camp has an isolation area for coronavirus patients should the need arise, the sources added.

“Authorities are tracing her recent contacts,” Health Ministry representative Sotiris Tsiodras told reporters. He said a person who lived with the woman had tested negative.

Greece, which reported its first coronavirus case at the end of February, has reported 1,314 cases so far. In total, 49 people have died.

Doctors at Greece’s public health agency conducted tests on 383 crew members of a passenger ship anchored off Pireaus, near Athens and 20 tested positive, health ministry officials said.

The vessel had been hired by a U.S cruise operator, a shipping ministry official said.

It arrived from Turkey and was initially headed to Spain but following transport restrictions imposed against the spread of COVID-19 it was unclear where it would sail next, the official said.

Crisis Management minister Nikos Hardalis said on Tuesday that Greece could set up floating hospital ships if needed in the future to halt the spread of the virus on its islands. (

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