Hospital capacity stretched to the limit

Number of daily Covid cases smashes new record while fatalities increase to ominous levels 

Hospital capacity stretched to the limit

The resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic is once again testing the resilience of the National Health System (ESY), with infections shooting up rapidly and the death rate rising ominously.

Monday was no exception to the rising trend as the number of daily infections smashed yet another record with 7,335 new cases out of a total of 114,388 tests (i.e. a positivity rate of 6.4%), and 65 deaths of patients with Covid-19, the highest toll since May.

The number of intubated patients was 477, while 407 new hospitalizations were recorded. 

The occupancy rate of Covid beds throughout the country stood at 56.3%, while the figure for intensive care unit beds was 88.9%.

More specifically, northern and central Greece are coming under mounting pressure, with all ICU beds in Central Macedonia reaching full capacity on Monday, while the occupancy is very high throughout the wider region.

At the same time, the representatives of doctors and hospital employees are talking about particularly increased demand for care in Attica concerning non-Covid cases, as a result of which auxiliary beds known in Greek as “rantza” are making their appearance at large on-duty hospitals. 

The president of the Public Hospital Workers Federation (POEDIN), Michalis Giannakos, referred to mounting pressure on beds at the Attikon Hospital, with queues of patients in the Emergency Department waiting to be examined. 

Echoing the same concern, the president of the Association of Doctors of Athens-Piraeus Hospitals, Matina Pagoni, described an equally extremely difficult situation at the Gennimatas Hospital, warning that “the worst is ahead of us.” 

Ministry officials told Kathimerini Monday that at least the situation is manageable at the moment and that until Monday there was no need to further activate the operational plan for the treatment of Covid-19 which foresees functional changes, such as the suspension of surgeries at all hospitals or designating hospitals exclusively for Covid cases. 

However, it was noted that this could change at any time as there are already individual cases where hospitals are adjusting their operations to be able to meet the increased demand.

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