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Greek military setting up field hospital for COVID-19 cases

Medical staff conducts a rapid COVID test on an elderly woman in Athens, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Greece has seen a major resurgence of the virus after ...
An elderly woman wearing a face mask against the spread of coronavirus, speaks with another woman, in Athens, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Greece has seen a...
A vendor wearing a face mask against the spread of coronavirus, throws and catches an egg in the air at an open-air fruit and vegetable market in Athe...
Customers wearing face masks against the spread of coronavirus, wait to buy potatoes at an open-air fruit and vegetable market in Athens, Monday, Nov....
Two women wearing face masks against the spread of coronavirus, pull their trolley baskets at an open-air fruit and vegetable market in Athens, Monday...
Medical staff adjusts the negative rapid COVID tests in Athens, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Greece has seen a major resurgence of the virus after the summe...

Medical staff conducts a rapid COVID test on an elderly woman in Athens, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Greece has seen a major resurgence of the virus after ...

An elderly woman wearing a face mask against the spread of coronavirus, speaks with another woman, in Athens, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Greece has seen a...

A vendor wearing a face mask against the spread of coronavirus, throws and catches an egg in the air at an open-air fruit and vegetable market in Athe...

Customers wearing face masks against the spread of coronavirus, wait to buy potatoes at an open-air fruit and vegetable market in Athens, Monday, Nov....

Two women wearing face masks against the spread of coronavirus, pull their trolley baskets at an open-air fruit and vegetable market in Athens, Monday...

Medical staff adjusts the negative rapid COVID tests in Athens, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Greece has seen a major resurgence of the virus after the summe...

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greece’s armed forces are setting up a field hospital with more than 50 beds in the northern city of Thessaloniki as part of plans to tackle a surge in the number of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

Deputy Defense Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis, who visited the site outside the city’s military hospital Monday, said the field hospital would be ready by the end of the week.

“This mobile hospital is being created in case of a particularly difficult situation and as part of the planning that the armed forces always have,” Stefanis said, adding that the military always plans based on the worst possible scenario.

The field hospital is to have 50 normal beds for coronavirus patients and two intensive care unit beds.

Thessaloniki has been at the center of a spike in coronavirus cases in Greece, with its hospitals and medical staff coming under severe pressure. On Friday, health authorities appropriated two private clinics in the city and their staff to be used to treat COVID-19 patients.

“After the rapid increase in admissions both the hospitals in Thessaloniki and their medical staff have reached their limits,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Monday.

According to figures released by health authorities on Friday, only 4% of ICU beds dedicated to the treatment of coronavirus patients in Thessaloniki were still available, with 210 of the 218 already occupied.

Greece has seen daily COVID-19 deaths spiral to above 100 over the weekend, with 108 people dying on Saturday and another 103 on Sunday. The country of about 11 million people now has more than 91,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,630 deaths since the start of the pandemic. A second nationwide lockdown was imposed earlier this month until the end of November but the restrictions are widely expected to be extended into December in some form.

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Updated : 2021-01-22 00:05 GMT+08:00