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Greece Rules Out New Lockdown Despite Pressure on Covid ICUs

Covid ICU Greece
Almost 90 percent of all available ICU beds are now occupied in Greece. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece insisted on Thursday there will be no new lockdown in the country, despite the rising Covid-19 cases and the pressure on the intensive care units (ICUs) throughout the country.

“There is neither going to be a lockdown nor will the ESY [national healthcare system] collapse,” government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou told journalists at a press briefing, responding to accusations from the main opposition that more measures are needed ahead of the holiday season.

The assurance by the government comes as a total of 621 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. According to the National Public Health Organization (EODY), their median age is 65 years and 80.7 percent have an underlying condition and/or are aged 70 or over. Of the total, 503 (81 percent) are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated and 118 (19 percent) are fully vaccinated.

Oikonomou said there is a specific framework of measures for the unvaccinated, as well as specific recommendations for places that are overcrowded. “We continue like this, without the possibility of a lockdown in the horizon.”

Pressure is growing on Greece’s ICUs

Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Vana Papaevangelou stressed that at the moment there are 54,000 active cases in Greece, while new growth trends are observed in Samos, Grevena, Evritania, Preveza, Evros, Arta, Chania, and Heraklion. She noted that high mortality is found in areas with low vaccination coverage in the 65+ age group.

She admitted that the pressure is growing in the ICUs in the country, with 88 percent of total available beds already occupied.

She stressed however that “the exponential increase of the pandemic has been stopped” and that there are “signs of stabilization, due to the increased attention and the small increase of the vaccinations”.

Deputy Health Minister Mina Gaga said that “We now have a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” adding that 8 out of 10 Covid-19 patients admitted to the ICU are people who have not been vaccinated.

78 Covid-related deaths in Greece on Thursday

On Thursday Greece confirmed 6,565 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, with 8 of these identified at entry points to the country.

Since the pandemic began, Greece has confirmed 908,222 infections. In the confirmed cases of the last 7 days, 96 infections are related to travel from abroad and 2,412 to other confirmed cases.

The median age of new infections is 38 years, while the median age of the deceased is 78.

There are also 78 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 17,693. Of these, 95.4 pct had an underlying condition and/or were aged 70 or over.

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