COVID-19 Cases Fall in Greece But ICU's Fill, Patients on Ventilators


(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Michalis Karagiannis)

ATHENS - Hope that the COVID-19 pandemic in Greece may be easing as cases fell - even as a pseudo-lockdown was eased - has been offset by worries about growing deaths and the numbers of patients in critical care.

People needing to be put on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) has jumped so much that doctors and staff complained some are being treated outside wards and complained the New Democracy government hasn’t provided enough aid.

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said that the average daily infection rate had fallen from 3,000 to 2,800 and that active cases dropped to 27,500 from 30,000 over a previous seven-day period although surges were seen in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

The Athens and Piraeus Hospital Doctors Association said there is a “huge need” for Covid beds. “Every day, dozens of patients in Attica are being treated by intubation outside the ICU in regular wards,” it said, reported Kathimerini.

Greece also is expanding the use of self-tests and requiring workers in a number of sectors to take them and report positive cases or face fines in what could be a shift toward making them mandatory for all, along with vaccinations.