Greece registers new record of infections as hospitals feel strain

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Coronavirus Variant Illustration Of V
Coronavirus Variant Illustration Of V

dpa/GNA – The number of new coronavirus infections rose to a daily high on Tuesday in Greece, where authorities said 3,586 cases were registered within 24 hours, half of them in the greater Athens area.

The number of patients requiring ventilation rose to 699 – also the highest since the pandemic hit Greece.

The Greek health care system is coming under increasing pressure from the unchecked rise.

Earlier this week, the government committed 200 freelance pulmonary and general physicians to coronavirus duty to relieve overworked staff in state hospitals.

Private clinics have also already been required to hold places for patients who are not infected with the virus but are suffering from other illnesses.

As of Tuesday, about 10 per cent of Greece’s 11 million population has received two coronavirus vaccine doses. Another 500,000 people have received the initial shot.

Over the past 24 hours the number of coronavirus-related deaths increased by 51 to 7,582 people in total.

Strict measures are in place across most of the country.

The fact that the infection figures are nevertheless rising is attributed by the government to people increasingly not heeding protective measures such as social distancing and limiting contacts.

In one grim example, a Greek village was struck by a spate of deaths from Covid-19 in only a few weeks and numerous more infections, with local media reporting that residents had largely ignored coronavirus regulations.

On Tuesday, the death count from Covid-19 climbed to 13 in Malesina village, which has around 4,000 inhabitants, local media reported.

Several outlets wrote that many of Malesina’s residents had refused to comply with coronavirus regulations, for instance not wearing face masks and opening some cafes and bars despite shutdown orders, which attracted crowds of customers in the evenings.

Witnesses also told journalists about a wedding at which around 200 guests crowded outside a church trying to get in.

The event at the end of February was said to have triggered the fast spread of the virus in recent weeks.

On March 3, the village reported its first Covid-19 fatality. Dozens of patients from Malesina are currently being treated at hospitals in nearby areas.

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias imposed a full lockdown with strict police controls in the village in early March.

On Monday, Mayor Thanassis Zekentes however said that more victims were expected, adding that this was due to the citizens not adhering to the rules earlier.

“This is what happens if in a small community the deniers are in the majority,” he said.

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