After the winter holiday break, students in Greece returned to school on Monday amid a surge in SARS-CoV-2 cases, with guidance from the National Public Health Organization to curb the virus’s spread, as reported by MIA’s Athens correspondent.

Given the escalating cases of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory infections in Greece, health authorities issued directives on Friday for students, educators, and staff to mitigate pathogen transmission.

Suggestions included enhancing classroom ventilation to reduce airborne viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and advocating hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, maintaining distance, and covering coughs and sneezes.

The advice further advised that students displaying symptoms of respiratory infections or testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 or influenza should stay home and minimize contact with others, according to MIA’s correspondent.

The National Public Health Organization’s weekly report noted a “significant increase in positivity in all tested samples” from December 25 to 31 compared to the preceding week, with rising SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Official data highlighted a 44% surge in COVID-19-related hospitalizations compared to the average of the previous four weeks, with 1,818 individuals hospitalized for severe infections. The number of ICU patients requiring respiratory support also rose.

The report mentioned 57 deaths from SARS-CoV-2 in Greece, compared to the previous week’s 62 fatalities.