Coronavirus and tourism this Summer: ICU care in Zakynthos mild case care in Kefalonia

Locally  they are handled the potential cases of coronavirus in tourists to the islands , the operational plan drawn up by the Health Ministry and today reveals the ‘Sunday Nation’ . 

Summer visitors who arrive in our country will not be quarantined , nor will they be tested for the virus.
Therefore, in order to avoid air travel , as the means of flight are minimal, it was deemed appropriate to deal with possible incidents on the spot . In fact, the situation is expected to become even more difficult if residents or staff of health units and accommodation need to be treated .

In this context, the government is trying to spread a health “umbrella” against coronavirus in island Greece in three areas , with 5 hospitals-pillars and 29 ICU beds . More specifically, the plan includes a network of hospitals and Health Centers that will be interconnected, but will also be in direct contact with mainland Greece . Operation Coronavirus in the Summer will focus on harnessing local health facilities so that incidents can be dealt with on the spot or, if necessary, transported by ambulance to major hospitals.of the mainland.

The three pillars on which the government’s plan will be based are:

  1. Hospitals that have easier access to mainland Greece to transport cases or have ICU beds.
  2. Hospitals without ICUs on islands.
  3. Regional clinics and health centers.

The serious incidents

The five hospitals that will be called to deal with the serious incidents and belong to the 1st axis are in:

  • Lesvos (5 ICU beds)
  • Samos (6 ICU beds)
  • Zakynthos (3 ICU beds)
  • Corfu (5 ICU beds)
  • Rhodes (10 ICU beds)

They are the only hospitals in the Aegean and Ionian that have ICU beds , a total of 29. These will be used for the treatment of possible serious cases . 

In Crete total available beds intensive is 50 : 25 in Heraklion , 7 Rethymnon , 8 Lassithi and 10 in Crete . These hospitals in Crete belong to the 1st axis of the plan for the treatment of Covid-19 in the tourist season, as they have the ability to treat patients with coronavirus. The hospitals of the islands that have easier access to mainland Greece also belong to the same axis, in order to transfer the possible cases there. 

Among them is the Lefkada Hospital , from where, if necessary, patients will be directed to the University of Ioannina , from the reference hospitals for the coronavirus .

Cases with mild symptoms

The 2nd axis of the strategic plan incorporates the hospitals that are on the islands, but do not have ICU beds. In them, simple beds for Covid-19 will be developed, with a relative distance between them, while where possible, the clinics will be separated, in order to define an exclusively for coronavirus events.

There are three main pillars of the 2nd axis : Chios , Kefalonia and Santorini . They are one of the largest hospitals on the islands, have organized clinics and can offer high quality health services to tourists who may be infected with coronavirus but will not need intensive care.They belong to the same axis General Hospitals-Health Centers of Kythera , Ikaria , Lemnos , Kalymnos , Kos and Naxos .

The role of health centers

The Ministry of Health is trying to staff the Health Centers with nursing and medical staff, as they have been abandoned in recent years. In fact, the employees of the public hospitals (POEDIN) had complained that every summer the Health Centers sigh from the shortcomings , due to which they could not face even a single simple incident . That is why the recruitments made in the middle of the coronavirus are directed to the smaller islands and the Health Centers, so that they can deal with any cases, even at the initial level.

Covid Clinic in the cities

The reference hospitals in Attica will be on standby . If there are outbreaks of the virus in the islands with serious incidents, they will be transferred to Athens . It has already been determined for each reference hospital that there will be a whole clinic, which will remain free only for patients with Covid- 19. Similar clinics have been established in large hospitals in the region, such as those of Ioannina , Larissa, etc.

Workshops in 20 areas

By the beginning of June, it is planned to create small laboratories , in which tests for the coronavirus can be performed . According to sources, the laboratory infrastructure has already been secured, which will be placed on 20 different islands . The selection of the islands where the test analysts will be installed will be based on traffic . Among them is expected to be Paros, for which the relevant preparation has already taken place. The aim is not to have to send the sample to big cities to see if it is positive or not, as this would create a lot of problems and delays in dealing with possible cases.

Appointment of a responsible doctor

Finally, on each island , and especially in large hotels, a responsible doctor (private sector) should be appointed , who will be responsible for the health of the accommodation . In case a patient with suspicious symptoms is found, the doctor in charge will be the one who will undertake the examination of the incident but also his management if he is ill, until he arrives at the hospital.

EKAB air support

The mechanism for dealing with possible incidents in the summer – this is essentially the second wave of the coronavirus , since according to the official positions of the ministers the first wave of the virus has already been completed – is based on the existing structures of the islands. Air travel , although common in our country due to its geographical distribution, is extremely limited in plan.

This is because the flying vehicles are extremely limited and “borrowed” from the Army , since EKAB does not have its own. In particular, only one C-130 aircraft is available , since The second one was put out of operation a few 24 hours ago , as it broke the front wheel and it takes from 3 to 6 months to repair it . The ambulance can tap and a military helicopter taking off from Eleusis , which would not be used. Also available are a helicopter in Rhodes and two more in Syros and Aktio, which do not fly at night . With the existing means, the airlifts that can be carried out – high-ranking government sources report to “Ethnos” – are extremely few. That is why emphasis was placed on health structures.


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