The government’s chief adviser on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic warned of the impact on the public health system of mounting hospital admissions as infections keep breaking new records, explaining why the expert committee he heads recommended the three-week lockdown announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday.
Speaking at the noon televised address with Mitsotakis, Athens Medical School epidemiologist Sotiris Tsiodras explained that admissions to Greece’s coronavirus wards have risen to around 170 a day, while more than 1,000 people over the age of 65 are being infected with the novel coronavirus on a daily basis – a combination that is pushing the public health system to its limits.
“Never before in modern history have we had so many patients in intensive care with a virus that causes pneumonia,” Tsiodras said, a day after infections and deaths hit new highs of 2,646 and 18, respectively, and the number of intubated patients rose to 179.
Tsiodras said that Attica’s Covid-19 intensive care wards have already reached 66% capacity and Thessaloniki’s are at 78% as the virus continues to rage in northern Greece and other parts of the country, putting additional pressure on big cities with bigger healthcare facilities.
He said that the decision for a lockdown was unanimous among the members of the committee. “We recognize the consequences and we hope it’s temporary,” Tsiodras said.