This week is considered particularly critical by the Health Ministry’s committee of experts, who are anxiously awaiting encouraging signals that would relieve some of the pressure on the country’s National Health System and pave the way for a gradual de-escalation of restrictive measures.
In any case, experts insist that the factors that will determine a return to partial normalcy will be the endurance of the health system, the public’s compliance with protective measures, the possibility of mass testing and the prospect of the vaccine.
“At the moment, the curve of the epidemic seems to have flattened. The Rt (virus reproduction rate) is at 1, and the positive rate of laboratory tests is close to 10-12%,” said Charalambos Gogos, an infectious disease pathologist, professor of pathology at the Medical Department of the University of Patra and member of the Committee of Experts. “This week is crucial,” he said.
“We will wait to see a stabilization of epidemiological indicators, and we hope that next week there will be a drop in the epidemic curve,” he stressed.
In any case, the pressure from serious Covid-19 cases on the health system and hospitals is expected to continue, even if the first signs of a flattening of the curve are confirmed.
According to Gogos, the reduction in hospital admissions and intubation of patients with Covid should follow at a delay of one week to 10 days, after an improvement in other epidemiological indicators, such as daily cases and the Rt.
The endurance of the health system not only concerns ICU beds but also simple hospital beds, where the battle is being fought so that patients don’t reach the point of intubation, Gogos said, adding also that existing staff will have to endure.