Society

Tsiodras Says Greek Health System Being Besieged by COVID-19

ATHENS – The head of Greece's scientific advisory committee on COVID-19 said the resurging second wave of the pandemic is making it difficult for the public health system to cope despite being beefed up with more equipment.

The Coronavirus crisis is more than seven months long across the world and the New Democracy government, with the help of the Diaspora and some philanthropists, added more Intensive Care Units (ICU's) gear and ventilators.

But Dr. Sotiris Tsiodras, a University of Athens infectious diseases professor lauded for his calm demeanor in delivering even bad news during an early lockdown that began in March, said it's inevitable that public hospitals will have trouble dealing with the growing number of cases.

Cases in Greece have been rising , with another record, 2,056 cases on Oct. 31 and six deaths, bringing the totals to 39,251 and 626 fatalities, with 135 patients on ventilators in hospital Intensive Care Units (ICU's.)

He told an online conference that while the surge in new cases in recent weeks was found in the young – many defying health protocols – that in the week ending Oct. 31 there were 1,000 infections of those over 55, said Kathimerini.

“This means the health system will come under pressure, with mathematical certainty,” he said, adding that the active number of cases in the country is estimated to be 300 percent higher than the 8,437 reported currently.

About 1,000 people are being treated in hospitals but he said at the current rate of the surge that it could add even more pressure to the health sector although the government earlier said it was ready to commandeer private hospitals and clinics if needed. 

Hospitals in Western Macedonia are already full with COVID-19 cases while in Attica, including Athens, they are 60 percent occupied.

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