COVID-19 Subsiding in Greece, But ICUs Fill, Deaths Up

ATHENS – While there are encouraging signs that a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is pulling back as more people rush to be vaccinated, deaths remain high as do the number of people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units.

That comes as the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was accused by the hospital workers union head of saving ICU beds in hospitals for the privileged, which was denied by Health Minister Thanos Plevris.

There are still more than 50,000 active cases with 4,800 COVID patients in hospitals with health officials said to believe the ICU’s will hold between 650-700 people through December, said Kathimerini.

The government still hasn’t moved to recruit private clinics amid reports that some critically ill patients are being treated in makeshift ICU units because there aren’t enough beds.

That gave major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras a platform to complain that there should be an investigation into whether a number of ICU beds are being saved for VIPS, although people of means mostly go to private facilities.

There were 5,523 cases, 81 deaths and 708 hospital admissions on Dec. 9 but health officials said cases fell by 11 percent compared to te previous and hospital admission were down 8 percent but ICU patiens rose 8 percent and deaths 3 percent.

The government’s advisory panel of doctors and scientists continued to push people to be inoculated, including third booster shots as the winter is due to set in, a period when cases could likely jump again with people more often indoors.

There are also areas where the pandemic isn’t abating, including Ioannina and island of Corfu which has seen a rise in cases in people 50-65, a sector especially skeptical of being vaccinated, where only 50 percent have gotten their booster shots.



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