Update – 16/12/2021
December 16, 2021
December 16, 2021
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 1,017,445. 77 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 19,553. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 683. 4,801 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 1,486 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 817 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.
The inequality in care levels between Attica and the rest of Greece, the correlation of the number of patients admitted to Covid-19 ICUs and mortality, as well as the high number of deaths among patients treated outside ICUs were highlighted in a study led by assistant professor of public health at Cyprus’ European University Theodore Lytras and Athens Medical School professor Sotiris Tsiodras.
The research, based on the data of intubated Covid-19 patients from September 1, 2020 to May 6, 2021 and published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, stressed that while public health services in Greece have increased significantly during the pandemic, the quality of health under the pressure of more hospital admissions has received less attention.
The researchers found that increased pressure on hospitals has led to higher mortality among intubated patients. Moreover, they said the risk of death increases for every hundred patients intubated. More specifically, they found that when more than 400 patients are intubated at the same time, the risk of death increases an average of 1.25 times compared to numbers below 400.
They added that when this number exceeds 800 the risk is 1.57 times higher. Patients intubated in Attica hospitals had the highest chance of survival, with the probability of death increasing by 35% for patients in Thessaloniki and 40% for patients elsewhere.
“This highlights the need for more substantial strengthening of healthcare services, focusing on equity and quality of care besides just expanding capacity,” the report said.
Based on the data, the researchers conclude that a total of 1,535 deaths could have been avoided if fewer patients had been hospitalized in the National Health System (less than than 200 intubated in total), if all were in ICUs and if they were in Attica.
There is a “very high” risk the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will become dominant in Europe by early next year and lead to a growing number of hospital admissions and deaths, the European Union’s public health body said on Wednesday.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a report that the Omicron variant of concern (VOC) was likely to overtake Delta within the first two months of 2022.
ECDC said data was not yet sufficient to assess the severity of disease caused by the Omicron variant. However, even if the severity of Covid-19 it caused was lower than that caused by Delta, the increased transmissibility would rapidly outweigh any potential benefits.
“It is therefore considered very likely that the Omicron VOC will cause additional hospitalizations and fatalities, in addition to those already expected in previous forecasts that only take into account the Delta VOC,” ECDC said.
The ECDC said that, without further measures to reduce social contact or increased booster vaccinations, the levels of transmission could overwhelm healthcare systems.European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said EU countries should immediately plan for increased health care capacity.
“As Europeans we prepare for the end of the year festivities, we cannot throw caution to the wind,” she said in a statement.
ECDC said booster doses would increase protection, according to current evidence, with a higher impact if doses were given to the adult population within a short interval.
Kyriakides said the coming months would be difficult, with Omicron likely to come in a big wave, but with boosters as a “wave-breaker”.
Over 66% of Europeans have received initial vaccinations, but Kyriakides said it was “very worrying” that some countries were lagging, such as Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia with uptake below 50%.
Irene Katsotourchi, the sole resident of Kinaros, a tiny island in the eastern Aegean, got vaccinated against Covid-19 on Wednesday.
“The message being sent by Kyra Rinio is clear. It is a message of hope… and of being responsible toward oneself and towards society,” the mayor of nearby Amorgos, Lefteris Karaiskos, told state broadcaster ERT using the septuagenarian’s nickname.
Katsotourchi reportedly expressed her desire to be vaccinated earlier this month, prompting the mayor to arrange for a mobile vaccination unit to join the mail boat’s fortnightly trip to the islet.
In more detail, the 4,801 new cases detected per Regional Unit: