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GREEK NEWS

Coronavirus: 312 Cases, Three Deaths Spur Concern Over Hospital Capacity in Greece

Photo credit: Alberto Giuliani/ Wikimedia Commons

Greece recorded a total of 312 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, following a recent, disturbing upward trend in cases. A total of 310 people had been diagnosed with the coronavirus on Tuesday. A stunning 174 of today’s cases were found in Attica.

Greece has recorded 14,041 total coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic in the country in the early Spring, including all those who have recovered. Just 17.5% of the identified cases were connected with travel outside of the country, while 42.5% of them are were caused by contact with a known case of the virus.

On Wednesday, Greek health authorities announced that three more people with Covid-19 had lost their lives. This brings the total number of fatalities in the country to 316. Women make up just 118 of those who died with the virus.

The median age of patients who passed away with the virus is 78, and nearly all of them were either over the age of 70 or had underlying health issues.

Currently, 67 people are intubated in hospitals around the country. This number worries health officials, as intensive care units in Greek hospitals around the country are at 37.5% capacity, — and 70% capacity in Athens. If the number of cases continues to rise, the possibility of hospitals becoming overwhelmed with intubated patients becomes more likely.

Vasilis Kikilias, Minister of Health, is forming a plan to strengthen Greek hospitals, specifically intensive care units, in preparation for a potential second wave of cases in the country. This includes an increase in the number of hospital beds.

Currently, there are a total of 930 intensive care beds in Greece. Of all of these beds, 701 are reserved for non-Covid patients, while 229 are reserved only for Covid patients.

In Attica, where there are a total of 330 beds for those who need intensive care, 255 beds are reserved for patients who do not have coronavirus — and 207 of these are occupied. Seventy-five beds are for use only for coronavirus patients, and only 22 of these are not currently in use.

An increase in cases could signal an increase in patients who require intensive care, and the 22 beds currently available in Attica may not be enough for the region, which is currently heavily impacted by the virus.

Considering this possibilty, Minister Kikilias ordered 40 beds for use by coronavirus patients to be sent to Athens immediately. Additionally, the Greek government will receive hundreds of new beds in preparation for an increase in cases from donations by organizations around the country. These are expected to arrive before the end of the year.

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