Bidding to contain a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic which is bearing down heavily on Attica’s hospitals, forcing the Health Ministry to activate an emergency plan, the government yesterday severely restricted travel between municipalities for food purchases and physical exercise.
Daily cases of the coronavirus skyrocketed on Wednesday to 2,702 – a record for 2021 while 40 new deaths were also reported.
In his daily briefing, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced that, as of 6 am Thursday and until 6 am on March 16, people can circulate with the SMS system using the number 2 for essential goods purchases and 3 to go to the bank only within their municipality or at a distance of no more than 2 kilometers from their home.
Movements with the number 6 can only be done on foot or bicycle, while in cases where people use number 4 to provide assistance, they will be asked to provide further clarifications.
As of Thursday the following regional units have been designated as “deep red”: Attica, Thessaloniki, Achaia, Arcadia, Larissa, Lefkada, Fthiotida, Argolida, Corinth, Thesprotia, Arta, Samos, Viotia, Chios, Aitoloakarnania, Rhodes, Iraklio, Evia and Kalymnos. The rest of the country is classified as at high risk, or “red.”
The measures in the regional unit of Larissa will take effect from Saturday due to Wednesday’s earthquake.
The traffic ban in “deep red” areas will run from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m., except Attica and Thessaloniki, where on weekdays it is from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. and 7 p.m to 5 .a.m. on weekends. Weddings, baptisms and memorials have been suspended in “deep red” areas.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry is activating its emergency plan for Attica, deploying the public and private health sectors. Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced that NIMTS is being transformed into a non-Covid hospital and will grant 120 beds to public hospitals. It will also integrate clinics from Evangelismos, Gennimatas, Korgialeneio-Benakeio and Ippokrateio hospitals, so that they can convert areas into Covid clinics. Doctors from private clinics will also be recruited.
The Henry Dunant is being transformed into a non-Covid support hospital, suspending its private operations, with the exception of the Kidney Dialysis Unit, the Oncology Department and regular appointments. It will be on duty in the place of the Sismanogleio, which will be converted into a Covid hospital with its surgery and recovery rooms transformed into multifunctional ICUs.
There are 319 Covid ICUs in Attica, to which another 29 beds will be added during the week.