Greece appealed on Wednesday to the private sector doctors to help out in the National Health System (ESY), which is stretched to the limits, due to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Greece announced a record number of daily coronavirus infections (3,465) and a record number of patients on ventilators (630).
Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias called on pathologists, general practitioners, lung specialists and anesthesiologists in the private sector to volunteer their services.
“With 3,465 Covid-19 infections reported today [Wednesday], we can confirm we are at the toughest point of the pandemic’s development, and the ESY is on high emergency mode,” the minister said.
He added that a total of 4,648 Covid patients are currently hospitalized, 1,000 of whom were admitted this week.
He insisted, however, that hospitalized coronavirus patients would find a bed in an ICU within 24 hours.
In total, Greece has 1,400 ICU beds dedicated to Covid patients.
Kikilias appealed for more private sector doctors to help out, and warned that if there are not enough volunteers, he will ask Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to enforce mobilization.
So far in the Attica region 45 specialists and general pathologists have signed up to help.
In addition, the private sector had contributed beds in clinics: 550 in total, with 450 of them being non-Covid. All beds come with medical and nursing staff.
Officials called the current development of the coronavirus pandemic in Greece “difficult”, with a steep rise in patients on ventilators and ambulance use to take ill people to hospitals, but insisted it was “manageable”.
Opposition blasts handing of Covid crisis
Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras launched a fierce attack against the government’s handing of the lockdown and the Covid crisis.
“After five months of lockdown we are at the worst point since the start of the pandemic,” he said in an interview on Thursday with OPEN TV.
“There are hundreds of our compatriots that are in a very bad way and dozens that are on makeshift respiratory support.”
He called on PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis to assume responsibility for the failure.
“The model the government has faithfully followed in the last five months has failed and I would expect the Prime Minister to come forward and assume responsibility for this,” Tsipras said.
1,701 cases of Covid diagnosed Attica alone
Of the 3,465 coronavirus cases recorded in Greece in the past 24 hours, 1,701 were located in Attica, home to the Greek capital city of Athens.
Instances of the virus were particularly high in the center of the city itself, where 456 cases of Covid-19 were identified Wednesday.
Piraeus, Athens’ port city, had a total of 318 instances of the virus on Wednesday.
Tests showed that in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, a total of 394 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours.