Health minister warns against letting down guard over the holidays

Health minister warns against letting down guard over the holidays

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias on Wednesday said that while hospital admissions are starting to even out with releases, the public health system is still skating on very thin ice, with Covid-19 intensive care wards at 83% of capacity nationwide. The shortage of ICU beds is especially acute in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, where capacity has reached 91%, but also in the capital, with 77% capacity, he said.

Speaking after a meeting with the government’s chief public health adviser, infectious disease expert Sotiris Tsiodras, Kikilias sought to sound the alarm and warn of the consequences of complacency over the upcoming holidays.

If we let down our guard, he said, infections will shoot up again, bringing us up against “the simple yet tough question of where we will put fellow citizens needing hospitalization.”

“The average stay of a patient in ICU is 15 days and the average on a ventilator is 10-11 days. These are the hard numbers from the public hospitals, which should make us ask ourselves during the holidays that are approaching, whether we will be able to cope as a society… and as a country,” Kikilias added.

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