Greek shipowner contracts coronavirus

Evangelos Marinakis

Evangelos Marinakis

 

One of Greece’s highest profile shipowners, Evangelos Marinakis, has revealed on social media that he is in self-imposed isolation after contracting the coronavirus.

Marinakis, in an Instagram post on Tuesday, said, “The well-known virus has paid me a visit and I felt obliged to let the public know”.

He said he feels “good” and is taking “all necessary measures” and “comply with doctors’ instructions.”

“I advise the same to all my fellow citizens,” he said.

The 52-year-old shipowner, controls the Capital shipping group, operator of some 70 vessels approaching eight million deadweight.

He is a leading personality in the Piraeus community and owner of Greece’s leading football club, the Piraeus-based Olympiakos. He also owns UK’s Nottingham Forest football club.

He was in the UK on March 6 to attend Nottingham Forest’s game against Millwall and according to Forest football club, “was diagnosed after showing the first symptoms on his return to Greece”.

On Monday March 10, Greek authorities confirmed 89 coronavirus cases and no deaths in the country. Marinakis is the most high-profile shipping victim of the virus though shipping companies, like many companies and organiations, have been drawing up and implementing contingency plans to deal with the outbreak.

One of the first victims was an employee of Piraeus Bank and the wife of a senior shipping executive of Kyklades Maritime. The executive tested negative.

On Monday, schools were closed in greater Athens and many organisations, including shipping companies, are rotating staff, with half working from home and half manning the offices.

No large-scale quarantines have been imposed, but the western part of the country, where most cases were detected among a group of religious tourists who probably contracted the disease in Egypt or Israel, is under semi-lockdown. Ports along the country’s western coast have come to a standstill, while travel is being kept to a minimum and face-to-face meetings are being cancelled with business being done by e-mail or over the telephone.