Greece orders private doctors to help out with Covid-19 treatment


dpa/GNA – The Greek government has ordered doctors who work in the private sector to help out in state hospitals with treating Covid-19 patients, as the public health system struggles to cope with spiking infection numbers.

The decree was issued on Monday, after only 61 doctors answered to a call for volunteers, according to a report by the state broadcaster ERT.

The government said 200 doctors were needed to relieve the health system.

“Unfortunately only a small number volunteered. We are now ordering doctors to service in order to strengthen the hospitals,” Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said.

The government had already created the necessary emergency legislation last year, which also allows the authorities to call up doctors from private hospitals.

The number of coronavirus infections in Greece has steeply risen in the past weeks despite strict regulations. Experts believe people are increasingly meeting up without heeding rules because they are tired of the restrictions.

On Sunday, health authorities reported 1,514 new infections in the last 24 hours, and the number of Covid-19 patients on ventilators rose to 674. This means intensive care units are almost at capacity.

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