COVID19: Paphos mayor calls for more doctors

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Paphos Mayor Phedon Phedonos has called for the conscription of the town’s doctors to be able to operate the general hospital that has been shut since last week to undergo a coronavirus deep clean.

A large number of medical staff have been infected by COVID-19 from a 65-year-old patient in intensive care who contracted the disease after he was visited by relatives who had just returned from the UK.

The same patient infected a 70-year-old Briton who was then taken to the dedicated hospital in Paralimni where he died late on Saturday, becoming Cyprus’ first coronavirus death.

Phedonos said on Monday that with the senior officers and critical nurses at Paphos General also infected, and subsequently in self-isolation, the hospital is struggling with administration.

“There are many doctors in the private sector who are not working these days. They may not be the strictly required specialists needed at the hospital, but Paphos needs management support, and every doctor is necessary.”

He said that the order for conscription of doctors and nurses should be implemented.

“Although Paphos represents less than 10% of the island’s population, of the 95 coronavirus cases in Cyprus, 28 are from Paphos, triple the national average.”

“The situation at the [Paphos] general hospital is tragic. There is lack of medical staff, equipment and supplies,” he told state broadcaster CyBC radio.

Phedonos refuted comments by Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou that there were ample supplies and staff at the hospital.

The mayor added that the ban on public gatherings is not implemented and the police should be given more powers to impose harsh fines.

“We need stricter regulations for bakeries and supermarkets, and the directive for a maximum gathering of 75 people should be cut down to no more than five people at any place.

“We need to give clear orders to the police, even though 30% of the force is out of action.”

“For years, we have said that [Paphos] hospital is the biggest patient in our district. If no additional measures are taken, we will see more serious repercussions because of lack of discipline, no suitable equipment and supplies, and because senior officials are infected or under self-isolation.”