An additional 800 beds for COVID-19 patients are being created in Attica, while the Sismanoglio General Hospital will now deal exclusively with COVID-19 cases, Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced on the radio station Athina 9.84 on Friday.
The minister said the Omicron surge was currently increasing the pressure with respect to ordinary hospital beds but not Intensive Care Units around the capital.
In an effort to cover the needs in Athens, he said, private clinics were giving 10-15 pct of their beds, which meant 300-400 additional beds.
In addition to Sismanoglio hospital, assistance with simple cases will be given by the NIMTS Military Hospital, Plevris added.
"With this management, we effectively manage to add another 700-800 COVID-19 beds in order to cover the increase for ordinary hospital beds," he said.
"From all the large clinics, we are taking beds and with the smaller clinics, which do not have the facilities to support such cases, we are in talks so they can support the National Health System with their staff, so as to cover the gaps that arise there," he said.
Because we have a problem, which is currently manageable, with nursing staff that is ill," Plevris explained.
He repeated that no patient with Omicron has been intubated so far, saying this was encouraging, but noted that 30-40% of the roughly 650 daily hospital admissions for COVID-19 were patients with the Delta variant, which would increase pressure on ICUs.
Referring to shortages of specific drugs, the minister said that the supply problems will be resolved by Monday and were due to "logistical" issues and the fact that large warehouses were closed over the holidays, combined with high consumption.
He concluded by repeating a call for vaccination, noting that it was equally important for vaccinated individuals to get the booster shot as for the unvaccinated to complete their vaccination.