Athens hospitals to add 70 COVID ICUs

Expert warns it will take years to return to pre-pandemic 'normalcy'

Athens hospitals to add 70 COVID ICUs

Another 70 rooms in Athens hospitals will be converted to coronavirus-specialized Intensive Care Units to ease the pressure on the health system from the continuing high transmission rates of the disease.

Hospitalization from the virus has strained hospital resources, with some running out of rooms to place new cases.

Evangelismos hospital, in central Athens, is one of those where capacity nears 100%, lung specialist Yiannis Kalomenidis, Assistant Professor at Athens University, told Skai Radio Sunday.

Kalomenidis said he did not see the situation improving in the coming weeks.

Nikos Kapravelos, head f ICU units at Papanikolaou Ηospital in Thessaloniki, said the spread of the disease continues since people’s movements have not been restricted as much as they should.

More people should be working from home and there should be more restrictions in public transport, whose importance in spreading the virus “has been underestimated,” he told TV Channel Open Sunday.

“We have brought the virus inside our families. You cannot have mobility increase under a lockdown. It’s like provoking nature,” he added. 

Kapravelos said he expects the next wave of the pandemic should start fizzling out at the end of March. He warned however, that we should be ready to start redefining “normalcy”. “We will not go back to the normal conditions we had until a year ago for years, we must change our habits,” he said.

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