ATHENS – With vaccinations ramping up and 206 private doctors conscripted to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece’s New Democracy government said there’s no truth to media reports a third lockdown will be pushed back another month.
It was due to lift March 29 – more than 4 ½ months after it was imposed on Nov. 7, 2020 – but will stay in place for an unspecified period, even as some measures were being eased despite a surge of the Coronavirus.
Media reports said non-essential businesses, thousands teetering on the brink of extinction, would be required to stay closed until April 25 because of the high number of hospitalizations and people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU’s.)
But reports of lengthening the lockdown that has gone back and forth from tough to lenient are “baseless,” the government said, according to Kathimerini, denying an advisory panel of doctors and scientists recommended it, expecting more people in overwhelmed ICU’s.
Sources not identified told the paper that the government will focus on the national healthcare system with no reports of commandeering private hospital as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he would do, and public hospital doctors demanding it, saying they are understaffed.
There were 699 COVID-19 patients on ventilators on March 24, the hospitals near full capacity, said the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) with the period through the first week of April seen critical.