St Demetrius procession without safety measures as Thessaloniki records increased infections

October 25, 2021

Without masks and without keeping safety distance, the faithful attended the procession for Saint Demetrius,m the patron on Thessaloniki in northern Greece, on Monday. They crowded as if there was no pandemic and kissed the holy icon of Panagia Portaitissa as well as the relics of St Demetrius without mask even though this is mandatory.

The Diocese had asked the clergy and the public to observe strict sanitary measures against Covid-19, however, even the priests did not wear masks.

The procession took place amid a huge crowd of faithful with the icon and the relics being transported by military vehicles and the presence of the clergy, a police band, while, in the procession, representatives of the clergy, the Army and the Navy as well as a police force, local media reported.

Last year, the celebrations for the patron of Thessaloniki sent several bishops to hospitals with Covid-19 and some of them also lost their lives, while infections in the city surged for several weeks putting immense pressure on the hospitals and occasionally intubated patients died outside the ICUs.

Later the government admitted it was a mistake – the only admitted mistake in dealing with the pandemic! – to allow the celebrations.

Apparently the government thought it was best to repeat the mistake of last year also this year, in a city with relatively low rate of vaccinations, daily infections at a range of 300 and 400+ and ICUs in hospitals already at 95% last week.

Local authorities told media that there would be huge reactions if they had canceled the celebrations.

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