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Coronavirus shuts down museums, sites in Greece

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Athens (AFP)

Greece on Friday shut down shops, bars and restaurants as well top tourist sites such as the Acropolis as coronavirus cases jumped from 117 to 190 in a single day.

Only supermarkets, pharmacies, medical dispensaries and doctor's surgeries will be allowed to stay open, the health ministry announced in a televised announcement.

A few hours earlier, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni had announced the closure of museums and archaeological sites across the country.

That decision was made after consulting the union representing them, said Mendoni. But enough staff would be kept working to ensure the security of the sites, the minister added.

The closure will last until March 30, said a ministry statement.

The news came as the number of people infected with the coronavirus jumped from 117 to 190, with five people in a serious condition, said the ministry.

The virus claimed its first victim in Greece on Thursday, a man in his 60s who had recently returned from Israel.

The government has already shut down schools and universities, courts, cinemas, gyms and other indoor public gathering areas for two weeks in an effort to curb the outbreak.

The health ministry has also put out an urgent call for an additional 2,000 medical staff.

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