Doctors and healthcare workers went on a day-long strike on Tuesday and took to the streets of Athens to protest “suffocating” conditions at the hospitals responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the time of writing, the country’s pandemic death toll stands at 6,343.
The doctors protested their extremely difficult working conditions, including countless hours at wards that are overflowing with covid-19 patients.
Intensive care units at Greece’s public hospitals are operating at roughly 80% capacity. Many hospital beds are occupied by coronavirus patients, leaving little availability for other people without the virus who need treatment.
The union of hospital doctors, OENGE, stated that the lack of resources, especially staff and hospital beds, poses a “serious risk both for critically ill COVID-19 patients and critically ill patients with other diseases.”
Wearing surgical masks and carrying banners, the doctors and healthcare workers marched through the centre of Athens to the Ministry of Health.
They are requesting that the government creates new units for COVID-19 patients instead of using already existing ones, as well as hiring more staff.
“Any negative impact on the public’s health will be the sole responsibility of the government, despite its efforts to pass on the responsibly to hospital doctors and other health professionals,” OEGNE said.
As of February 11, Attica entered a two-week hard lockdown, to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Latest covid-19 numbers in Greece
Greece recorded 2,147 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour reporting period.
This raises the total number of cases to 182,783.
Three hundred and fifty-seven individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 69 years. 86.6% have an underlying condition or are aged 70 years and above.
A total of 1,291 patients have been discharged from ICUs since the start of the pandemic in Greece.
The country’s pandemic death toll stands at 6,343. 95.7% of the deceased had an underlying condition and/or age of 70 years or more.
At least 720,000 citizens have also been inoculated in Greece, with 30,000 vaccinations carried out on Monday alone, said Health Secretary-General for Primary Health Care Marios Themistokleous.
Greece ranks fourth in the EU with its 1,420,000 booked inoculation appointments, of which 720,000 are scheduled for the month of March when it is expected that Greece will surpass 1.5 million inoculations.