At 16 Of March 2020 the few permanent residents of Damascene and Dragasia, two villages on the outskirts of the Ontria ridge, was one of the first in Greece to enter quarantine. Their distance from Kozani and Ptolemaida was not enough to shield them from the pandemic. During the second wave, in mid-October, the Peripheral Unit of Kozani was again raised to the level of increased alarm. In December, the situation remained critical, the epidemiological burden was great.
Until 13 January 2021 the infectious disease specialist and coordinator of EODY in Western Macedonia, Iordanis Romiopoulos, he did not hide his frustration. The previous day, Kozani had climbed to third place nationwide, behind Attica and Thessaloniki, as he appeared to have 53 new cases of COVID-19, while the average of the previous seven days was at 10,7. "The shock of the sudden increase affected us all psychologically", said Mr.. Romiopoulos in briefing the region. "And the one more case that will be reported later is a drop that can overflow a glass, to disappoint an entire people ", he stated.
The governor of Western Macedonia, George Kasapidis, claimed that dozens of cases on 12 January corresponded to samples tested during the first ten days of November, but were declared two months later. In the epidemiological surveillance report of the next day, EODY put in 22 new positive samples of Kozani in the footnote: "Incidents of previous period due to late declaration in the COVID-19 Register are included". At 14 January corresponding asterisk entered 16 cases of Trikala.
One month earlier, the deputy governor of Kilkis, Andreas Vergidis, had spoken of "an inconceivable mistake of a private laboratory in Thessaloniki", which, as he claimed, had delayed notifying EODY of the results of audits carried out by 24 November and beyond, and did it cumulatively for 94 samples on 7 December.
Mr.. Romiopoulos described in the briefing of the Region of Western Macedonia how the local EODY has been carrying out its own tracking for months to speed up the relevant process. He said he did not have access to the central platform where cases from private and public laboratories are reported., but has requested from all laboratories in the area, as soon as they complete the day's work and provided that they have already passed their findings electronically, "Make an extra effort to send e-mail to the local EODY", in which they will report case names and telephone numbers, so that the next morning they can be traced. "K" tried to contact him to ask further questions, but he referred to his public statements.
He has clarified that the deferred registration does not affect any decisions to restrict travel at the local level, as in each sample the date of receipt is indicated in the system - it is clear to those who have access to the COVID-19 Register that these are not active cases. The central EODY has also pointed out the same in its announcement. EODY has also announced that during the disputed period of November the epidemiological burden in Kozani "was already high" and strict measures had already been taken.
Representatives of the local government in Kozani, contacted by "K", wonder if the tracking was affected due to the untimely registration. As they explain to "K" from the Civil Protection, tracking has value when a case is reported to the system as soon as possible and not with a delay of weeks.
The Kozani Prosecutor's Office ordered an urgent preliminary investigation into the case. A representative of the National Transparency Authority told "K" that inspectors of the service went to 18 January in the area, received documents and deposits and are expected to draw up their conclusion. The mayor of Eordea has also filed an indictment against anyone responsible, Panagiotis Plakentas. "It simply came to our notice then; The quarantine was observed or they turned right and left in the city;He wonders.
Mr.. Kasapidis has stated that the delayed cases "seem to be related to the Bodossakeio Hospital and a collaboration he had concluded with a laboratory". Bodosakeio at least until 21/12/2020 He also collaborated with a private laboratory in the Regional Unit of Kozani. "K" attempted to contact the laboratory via e-mail and telephone, but received no answer. Authorities are investigating who was responsible for the timely registration of results.
The contract of the Bodosakeio Hospital of Ptolemaida with the private laboratory is not at the disposal of "K", nor was it found after a relevant search in "Diavgeia". However, "K" located in "Diavgeia" a draft contract in a similar tender held by the Kastoria Hospital on 11/9/2020. It states that the contractor must complete within 14 hours after receipt (including weekends) the analyzes of the samples and "within the same period of time is obliged to have registered all the positive results in the COVID-19 Register". A similar contract signed on "Diavgeia" has been posted on 28/8/2020 the Hospital of Rethymnon. It states that the laboratory undertakes in 24 hours after receipt of samples completion 200 exams and at the same time registers the positive results electronically.