Update – 24/01/2022
January 24, 2022
January 24, 2022
As of the latest update by the Greek authorities, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 diagnosed cases in Greece 1,793,311. 84 new deaths were reported raising the total number to 22,635. The number of patients treated in intensive care units is currently 665. 12,108 new cases were announced yesterday in Greece. 4,170 of the new cases were found in the Attica region and 1,182 new cases in the Thessaloniki region.
The urgent demands placed on the National Health System (ESY) by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on medical services, not least surgeries, at hospitals around the country.
According to hospital officials, even if the pandemic were to end tomorrow, it would take three to six months for hospitals and patient waiting times to return to pre-coronavirus levels.
Indicatively, the waiting time for heart surgeries at Athens’ Evangelismos Hospital can reach between eight and 10 months as most of the departments (and staff) have been allocated to cover the needs Covid-19 patients. Similarly, surgeries and regular surgeries at the Sismanogleio have been postponed since its designation as a Covid-only hospital.
“A huge effort is being made to help along regular surgeries through partnerships with the private sector,” Health Minister Thanos Plevris told Kathimerini, stressing that national health system doctors have been given the opportunity to perform postponed surgeries at private clinics.
According to projections of the Health Ministry, approximately 97,000 fewer surgeries were carried out in the first half of 2021 than would have been performed if there was no pandemic.
“The trends we saw in 2020, with a decrease in admissions, surgeries and visits to outpatient clinics, compared to pre-pandemic levels were repeated in the first half of 2021,” said Ilias Kondylis, associate professor at the Laboratory of Primary Healthcare of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He added that in 2020, 25% fewer surgeries were performed (approximately 120,000) than on average in the three years from 2017 to 2019.
Greek health authorities have identified two cases of the Omicron sub-variant BA.2 in the past week in travellers arriving at Athens’ international airport.
The National Organization for Public Health (EODY) is expected to elaborate on the cases at the daily briefing on the pandemic on Friday afternoon.
Three subvariants of Omicron have been identified by scientists: BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3, with the first being the dominant in most of Omicron-cases around the world. The subvariant BA.2 has already been identified in several countries and carries additional mutations from those possessed by Omicron.
It is not yet clear whether BA.2 is more dangerous than BA.1.
An administrative employee and a nurse charged in connection with the issuance of fraudulent inoculation documents from a health center in the city of Karditsa in central Greece were dismissed from their jobs, the Health Ministry said.
The dismissal came after a disciplinary hearing held by the Health Region of Thessaly and Central Greece on Thursday.
The administrative employee at the Palamas health center is accused of gaining access to the electronic platform and registering people as vaccinated, while the nurse of using one of the forged inoculation documents.
A total of 48 people have been charged in connection with the scandal, five of which, believed to be the ringleaders of the group, are accused of forming a criminal gang. All 48 individuals are burdened by additional charges of money laundering, active and passive bribery, issuing false certificates and forgery.
At least 34 fake certificates have been issued by the center.
In more detail, the 12,108 new cases detected per Regional Unit: