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First Covid-19 patients airlifted to Athens as hospitals reached capacity

Three patients with Covid-19 from the region of Drama were airlifted to hospitals in Athens on Thursday, as facilities in northern Greece have reached their capacity due to the surge of the coronavirus.

The patients are transferred in isolation capsules with a C-130 from the Greek Air Force.

On board are three doctors and three members of the ambulance service EKAV. The C-130 left the military airport of Elefsina in the morning and landed in the city of Kavala.

The patients, two of them aged 76 and one 75 years old will be in the designated hospitals Evangelismos, Sotiria and Attiko.

Another three patients, younger in age, from Drama are intubated and in Increased Care Units at the hospital in Kavala awaiting airlift to Athens.

The situation in Drama hospital is described as “tragic” with 140 infected hospitalized in the three Covid-19 clinics of the hospital, the 12 beds in ICUs are full, reported local newspaper proinostypos.

50 people have already died, while 20 patients have been transferred to Kavala.

Speaking to the newspaper, the president of the doctors at Drama hospital said that 20 doctors and 60 nurses have been infected with the virus and are in quarantine. and they need extra personnel to cope with the extreme situation.

One 54-year-old nurse died of Covid-19 two days ago, another 52-year-old is struggling for life in an ICU.

Hospital authorities in Kavala also said that their 12 ICU beds were occupied.

Also on the islands where the cases are fewer but the health facilities are not appropriate equipped, the situation seems difficult. On Wednesday, two Covid-19 patients were airlifted from Rodes to the ICU of Heraklio hospital in Crete, and one from Andros to Athens.

The pressure of the second wave of the pandemic on the national healthcare system has increased, and for this reason the government decided to extend the lockdown restrictions for another week.

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