Coronavirus: 9 deaths on Mount Athos

With the exception of three cases of coronavirus in the monastery of Xenophon brought from outside the borders of the Republic of Athens, there were practically no other cases of illness until September 2020.

The ban on visiting the Sacred Community, introduced since March, has contributed significantly to the creation of a good epidemiological image of Mount Athos. General traffic bans in Greece limited, on the one hand, movement to Athos, and on the other, the entry of visitors. The opening of Mount Athos to pilgrims last summer also did not have serious negative consequences, as weather conditions did not contribute to the spread of the virus.

But in the fall on Athos, everything began to change. The first to die was the 44-year-old monk Nikiforos, from the diocese of Ierissos and Arnea, who became infected during a pilgrimage to Mount Athos. Behind him, a deadly virus took the life of hieromonk Panaretos from the monastery of St. Gregory, who was called one of the best readers of Holy Mount Athos.

After that, several more elderly people died in the monasteries. But since March, the situation has deteriorated sharply. First of all, the Skete of St. Anna, the New Skete and the Skete of Caries suffered.

In the Cell of the Annunciation (Ευαγγελισμού) in Caries, the Monk Meletios of Crete, who already had many health problems, died of the virus. Hieromonk Elder Eftimy from the Iversky Skete also died of the coronavirus. In Agia Anna, the famous father of Chrysanthos Agiannanitis was among the victims of the pandemic.

Many residents of Athos are still in bed, and their condition is worrying. These epidemiological data are certainly no longer satisfactory for Mount Athos, as indicated by medical sources familiar with its reality.

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