Funds from a considerable donation by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation should be spent primarily on adding more intensive care units, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a teleconference with the Foundation's leadership.
Mitsotakis and several of his aides, along with the Foundation's leaders, convened Friday afternoon to find ways to best spend the donation, which is part of a $100 million international action initiative it has undertaken.
Mitsotakis said that, despite recent additions that boosted its ICU capacity above 800 units, Greece still lags behind the European Union average in the number of ICU's per population, and needs 500 more beds in such units.
Other priority areas are a patients database and training for personnel that will exclusively work in ICU's.
So far Greece has kept the pandemic from spiralling out of control, mainly thanks to severe restrictions on movement it enacted mid-March. As of Friday, there were 97 people intubated in ICU's, but the crisis is far from over. During the conference, Mitsotakis mentioned that the coronavirus pandemic will, most likely, spike up again in the fall.
Independently of its latest contribution to fighting coronavirus, the Niarchos Foundation has already earmarked 420 million euros for its Health Initiative, providing the funds to build three public hospitals and provide their equip,ent, funding training programs and donating essential supplies, such as respirators.