ATHENS – Greece has entered a critical period with the year-long COVID-19 pandemic as so many people are on ventilators that public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are nearing capacity.
That has led the New Democracy government to begin inventorying private hospitals which had been reluctant to help but whose beds and ICU’s could be commandeered if necessary.
The prefecture of Attica, which includes the capital and has about half the country’s population of 10.7 million people, will be in a state of alert until at least March 23 during an extended third lockdown said Kathimerini.
In the week leading up to March 8, some 1,600 Coronavirus patients were admitted to the capital’s hospitals and the occupancy rate of ICUs reached 87% although 348 more beds had been added.
Beleaguered medical staff in the hospitals said while the situation was serious that they could manage unless there was an unexpected and unprecedented spiraling up of cases without notice.
“The system is on the brink, but it’s holding. Even when a unit fills up within a few hours, we find an intensive care bed to treat a patient. We have made a bet with ourselves not to leave a single patient outside the ICU,” Maria Theodorakopoulou, Director at the 2nd Intensive Care Clinic of the Attikon University Hospital and Vice-President of the Hellenic Intensive Care Society told the newspaper.