As cases soar in northern Greece, government mulls public health restrictions in COVID-19 red zones

Nearly a month after the government lifted restrictions on COVID-19 vaccinated individuals in high-risk red zones, it is reviewing possible public health restrictions in those zones, such as northern Greece, where the vaccination rate is particularly low and hospitals are reeling with ICUs filled to capacity.

In those regions, ICUs are already filled to capacity, while the peak of this wave is expected in November or December.

Northern Greece ICU's in critical condition

Healthcare workers at Thessaloniki's large AHEPA hospital say that they are treating intubated patients in simple beds. There are 137 patients being treated in ICUs in hospitals in Macedonia and Western Thrace.

In these regions there are 773 patients being treated outside of ICUs (74-80 percent unvaccinated), while 70 patients are being treated outside of ICUs with high-pressure oxygen masks (83-89 percent unvaccinated).

Athens University Medical School Professor of Virology Gkikas Magiorkinis, a spokesman for the National Committee on COVID-19, told SKAI television that it is possible that in areas where the vaccination rate is low and the National Health System is under severe pressure, social distancing measures may be imposed, particularly in restaurants, cafes and bars.

In the event of extreme epidemiological conditions, Magiorkinis did not rule out the possibility of closing night clubs in red zones.

If the measures must be imposed, he said they will be lifted only when a satisfactory rate of vaccination has been reached in the specific areas.

While stressing the overarching importance of vaccination, he also underlined that inspections at restaurants and night clubs must be stepped up.

On October 6, the Committee in...

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