Covid Observatory sounds alarm over declining age of ICU patients


The latest surge in the coronavirus pandemic in Greece is showing a tendency toward stabilization but deaths and intensive care hospitalizations, especially among young people, are on the rise, the country’s Covid Observatory said in its 13th report on Friday.

Drawing on official data from the period after August 28 when it published its last report, the Covid Observatory found that new infections did not rise dramatically over the course of the week, stabilizing at an average of 220 a day from 216 the week before that. Nevertheless, it warned that the increase in infections continues to stem from a relaxed attitude to health experts’ recommendations, adding that the plateau is likely the result of stricter measures introduced in the second half of August, such as mandatory mask-wearing in all indoor public spaces.

The observatory also sounded the alarm about the rising number of young people being infected and having to be hospitalized and even intubated, saying that the average age of Covid patients in intensive care dropped to 39 this week from 67 in late April.

The country’s hospitals will also start feeling the strain if the upward trajectory continues, as ICU beds are already at 23% of capacity with 38 patients on Thursday from 31 the week before, the report said.

In relative terms Greece is faring quite well, the report noted, saying that it has a death rate of 26 per 1 million residents against a global average of 113.7 per 1 million and a transmission rate of 1:0.72, below the threshold of 1:1 when more drastic restriction measures are considered necessary.