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Greece Drafts Private Doctors as Covid-19 Cases Surge

Greece Covid-19
Hundreds of doctors will be drafted into the public health service to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece on Thursday began to requisition the services of doctors in central and northern Greece as the country’s public health service is struggling to cope with the spread of Covid-19.

Pathologists, lung specialists, and general practitioners are being drafted in order to reinforce the national health system after private doctors failed to come forward in sufficient numbers in response to the health ministry’s call for volunteers.

Based on the figures given, some 40 doctors across the country volunteered to participate in the effort.

According to legislation published in the Government Gazette, the leadership of the Health Ministry has been given powers to requisition the personal services of private doctors who have contracts with the National Health Services Provision Organization (EOPYY) who will be based in the regions of Western Macedonia, Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and Thessaly for one month.

Greece grapples with Covid-19 spike

The requisitioning was made imperative by the current epidemiological situation in the country and the fact that all COVID-19 beds have been filled in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th health districts, despite the daily conversion of additional clinics into COVID-19 clinics, creating an urgent need to reinforce the human resources of public health structures for the treatment of Covid patients.

The move follows the grim toll of deaths in Greece from the Covid-19 pandemic, which surpassed 17,000 on Wednesday.

There were a record 87 deaths in a 24-hour period reported on Nov. 17 as the struggle to contain the pandemic goes on, with the unvaccinated facing some restrictions about going into public gathering spots but not being forced to take the shots.

In the first 17 days of November, there were 1,074 deaths of patients infected with the coronavirus, when in the entirety of October authorities recorded 1,110 deaths, and 1,137 in all of September.

Greece recorded a total of 6,682 cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, while 8,129 were recorded in the country on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is to address the nation on Thursday afternoon to brief them on the course of the pandemic and the government’s initiatives and strategies to intercept the fourth wave of the pandemic, according to sources.

About 61.8 percent of Greece’s population of approximately 11 million are fully vaccinated, while authorities had hoped for a rate of about 70 percent by Autumn.

In October, Greece lifted all indoor coronavirus restrictions for the fully vaccinated. In effect, the fully vaccinated are granted permission to return to the normalcy they enjoyed before the pandemic. Indoor venues for the fully vaccinated will also be allowed to play music and patrons will be allowed to stand and socialize together as they once used to do.

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