Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced new measures to alleviate the pressure on Attica’s healthcare system. The minister mentioned that Attica, Greece’s most populous region, is facing its toughest challenge since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We will have to implement emergency planning” stated the minister. He acknowledged the immense pressure on Attica’s healthcare system. “It is easy to see that the healthcare system is being pushed beyond its limits with this rate of new patient admissions” he added. There are currently over 1,500 Covid patients being treated in the region’s hospitals.
The plan calls for an increase in capacity for both regular Covid care units as well as specialized Covid Intensive Care units (ICU). Over the last three weeks, 449 regular care units and 90 ICUs have been created to reduce the pressure on the region’s healthcare system.
“We have increased the capacity of our treatment units by 40%” said Mr Kikilias. The Health Ministry’s efforts are ongoing, as over the next few days it plans on establishing 29 new ICUs in three of Attica’s hospitals.
Additionally, several hospitals in Attica will be designated as Covid hospitals and will be exclusively treating patients suffering from the virus. To complement this, some hospitals, most notably the NIMITS military hospital, are being designated as non-Covid and will be used to treat other patients from hospitals that are under extreme pressure treating Covid patients. Private hospitals have also been instrumental in supporting the work of Covid designated hospitals and have already offered over 120 non-Covid ICUs in Attica.
The emergency plan was designed in the early days of the pandemic and has already been put into effect in Northern Greece in November.
On Tuesday, health authorities in Greece announced 2,702 new Covid cases of which 1,269 are in Attica.