PANDEMIC

Private health sector placed on alert 

private-health-sector-placed-on-alert

In the bid to build the best arsenal possible in the fight against the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Health Ministry is taking inventory of all available beds in the private health sector in case it needs to deploy them at short notice. 

“Depending on how the epidemic develops, we are examining all scenarios,” said Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis.

To this end a document was sent on Friday noon from the office of Secretary General for Health Services Ioannis Kotsiopoulos to the Panhellenic Association of Private Clinics and the Association of Greek Clinics, asking private clinics to report by the evening of the same day (by 8 p.m.) how many beds – both simple hospitalization and intensive care beds – they have in total, how many are being used and how many are empty.

The document said that the request is being made “due to the emergencies created by the spread of Covid-19 and in order to properly prepare the country for the protection of public health.”

At the same time, the number of hospitalized patients is constantly rising, bringing hospitals, especially in Attica, to their limits.

The average daily admission rate of patients with Covid-19 to Attica hospitals last week was 200, compared to 330 nationwide.

According to Vana Papaevangelou, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Athens University, more than 3,200 patients with coronavirus are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 throughout the country, while 196 patients were intubated in the last week. The nationwide occupancy rate of Covid ICUs is 63% while the figure for Attica is 87%.

Meanwhile, health authorities confirmed 2,215 new cases of the disease and 32 deaths on Friday. A total of 451 patients were intubated Friday at noon, when the number of active confirmed cases amounted to 16,500 throughout the country, of which 8,100 were in Attica and almost 2,000 in Thessaloniki.

Papaevangelou attributed the deterioration of the country’s epidemiological picture to the prevalence of the British variant of the strain – which now concerns 60%-70% of new cases across the country and up to 90% of new cases in Attica and Crete – weather conditions and the extensive spread of the virus.

​​​​​​Also on Friday, Fokida in central Greece and the municipality of Anogeia in Rethymno on Crete were designated deep red on the country’s epidemiological map by Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias.