New infections cases of Covid-19 over the week of July 24-30 were up compared to the previous week, according to the weekly report by the National Public Health Organisation (EODY), published on Thursday. At the same time, the Hospital Doctors Federation urges the unconditional return of mandatory use masks in hospitals and other health facilities.
Coronavirus weekly report
Hospital admissions for coronavirus (321) increased last week and also went up 41% overall compared to the average weekly for admissions during the last four weeks.
The number of new intubations (9) in the week of July 24-30 dropped slightly compared to the previous week, dropping 125% in comparison to the average of new intubations in the last four weeks.
Currently there are 16 intubated Covid-patients in Greek hospitals.
24 people infected with covid-19 died in the same week. The median age of those who died was 87.5 (age range: 67-97).
Weekly sampling of virus loads in urban waste in Greece showed a rise in SARS-CoV-2 in 8 of 10 regions checked.
In terms of influenza (flu), there was no case requiring admission to intensive care units (ICUs), or any new death reported, during the week of July 24-30.
A total of 68 people with flu have been hospitalised in ICUs since the start of the flu season and 26 people have died.
Hospital doctors demand the return of the mask
Hospital doctors reacted to the circular issued on July 24 by the Health Ministry that lifted the measure of the mandatory wearing a mask by hospital personnel, patients and visitors or accompanied persons.
In a statement issued by the Federation of Hospital Doctors Associations (OEGNE) hospital doctors emphasized the need to maintain the obligation to use masks by health personnel, patients and accompanying persons within the health units, pointing out that the intra-hospital spread of COVID-19 is still a big problem.
Despite the fact that the hard indicators of the epidemic have subsided significantly, COVID-19 continues to preoccupy Greece’s health system and it is indicative that last week more than 300 patients infected with the virus were admitted to hospitals throughout the country.
In a statement, the Federation described as “wrong and extremely dangerous” the recent abolition of the obligation to use a respiratory protection mask within health units, with the exception of health personnel who come into contact with high-risk patients (oncological, immunosuppressed, transplanted, hospitalized in ICU) and patients belonging to high-risk groups.
The federation noted that the use of highly protective masks by patients, patient attendants and health personnel “must continue everywhere along with other precautionary measures.”
the statement added that “it is completely unethical to expose every patient to the risk of in-hospital transmission, even if they do not have a known individual history of disease that predisposes them to immunosuppression. Finally, it is unethical and unscientific with a “above” central circular to “bypass” the competent statutory scientific bodies of the hospitals (infection committees).”
It is worth noting that according to the National Public Health Organization, the week of July 17 to 23 saw a 50% increase in the number of hospital admissions due to COVID-19 compared to the average weekly number of new admissions in the period from June 19 to July 16 (306 vs. 204).
15 COVID-19 deaths were recorded compared to an average of 17 per week in the previous period.
The surveillance of the viral load in urban sewage showed an increase in the circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in four of the ten areas tested (Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion and Ioannina).