ATHENS – Even as cases of COVID-19 are going up and down in Greece in a roller-coaster ride that kept health officials anxious, there are some indications that vaccinations are beating back the pandemic and will see numbers fall.
That is alleviating a crushing burden on the country's National Health System after public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) have been near capacity for months with vaccines still behind schedule.
But the number of hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients in each of the first 10 days of May was below 400, and it fell to 294 on May 11, said data from Greece’s ambulance service, EKAB, and National Public Health Organization (EODY) cite by Kathimerini.
The hospital admission rate in the period from mid-March to April 20 ranged around 500, while on some days it exceeded 550 and the number of patients admitted daily in May began has been around the same or less than discharges.
In the week from April 26-May 2 the ratio of admissions of new patients to discharges due to recovery was 1:1 (3,018 admissions and 3,016 discharges), for the first time since January, while on May 11 there were 67 discharges more than admissions.
The latest data has shown that the occupancy rate of COVID-19 beds for general admissions and ICUs is also slowly but steadily declining, an especially good sign given that the country was near open for Easter celebrations and gatherings.
The occupancy rate is now at 47 percent for regular COVID-19 beds and 77.5 percent for ICU beds, down from 59 percent and 89 percent from a month earlier when worry was growing again about yet another surge.
“We have fewer cases and we also have empty beds in the ICU units. But we still have admissions of new patients, some whose condition deteriorates rapidly and who need more treatment or intubation,” the Director of the Sotiria Hospital’s 7th Pulmonary Clinic and Chairman of the Central Health Council, Mina Gaga, told SKAI TV.
She said that most were either unvaccinated or people who had only had the first dose of the vaccine, with two shots required for most versions and that out of 5,000 admissions there that only two were people with both shots.