ATHENS (Reuters) - Two Athens private hospitals will join Greece's public health system to treat COVID-19 cases and relieve pressure on packed state intensive care units, the health minister said on Tuesday.
Greece has extended a lockdown and tightened curbs to stem the spread of the coronavirus after a surge in new infections.
On Monday a 37-day-old baby boy became the youngest casualty of the country's outbreak which has so far killed 6,797 people. "Our sorrow is unbearable," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
Greece had fared better than other European countries since its first case was reported a year ago. But despite a lockdown in Athens for more than two weeks, infections have showed no sign of falling.
The Athens Medical Centre and Hellenic Healthcare Group voluntarily offered two of their hospitals, which will start treating coronavirus patients from Thursday, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias said.
"Now that the Athens region is feeling the biggest pressure since the start of the pandemic, we are implementing our emergency plan, uniting forces," he added.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Andrew Heavens)