As Cyprus remains in lockdown, it recorded two new coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, bringing the total to five since the outbreak on March 9.
The Health Ministry said two patients have died from Covid-19, while another 16 tested positive, bringing the total of confirmed cases to 162 (including four in the British Bases) of which 85 were infected in Cyprus.
The two dead are a 76-year-old Cypriot woman and of a 47-year-old Greek national.
The elderly woman had underlying health issues, but the Greek man did not.
Out of the five people who lost their lives, four were men and one was a woman. The average age of the victims was 63 while the mortality rate is 3%.
Among those being treated, seven people are on ventilators, one of which are at Limassol General Hospital’s ICU and six at the Nicosia General’s ICU.
Famagusta General Hospital is currently treating 18 people, two of whom are in the Intensive Care Unit.
The Ministry expects that the number of cases at hospital ICUs will increase as more people will need to be put on ventilators.
Dr Marios Loizou representing State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY) said: “Unfortunately, our efforts to fight the pandemic is now in the next phase. We are dealing with more serious incidents,”.
“The big battle is now fought daily in the ICUs of hospitals and support departments…we need time to prepare ourselves as best we can.”
He called on people to stay home.
Loizou said that patients in Cyprus have access to the same medication options given to COVID-19 patients around the world.
Announcing the 16 new cases on Friday, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus Dr Leontios Kostrikis, said one patient had recently come from a European country, nine had contact with previously diagnosed cases, another case was related to the cluster at Paphos General Hospital.
Kostrikis said that another case came from the British Bases and the other two were crew members of ships docked in Cyprus.
The health services are also looking into another 3 cases which maybe orphan.
Among the new cases was a patient at the Oncology Clinic of Limassol General Hospital who tested positive.
OKYPY spokesman, Charalambos Charilaou said it was a Briton who was in a room with another patient who had to be transferred to another room for isolation.
The area is being deep cleaned and those who came into contact with the patient are also now in isolation.
No more admissions will be allowed at the clinic and patients already in the hospital cannot be discharged until the results of their tests are known.
The Health Ministry once again called on the public to abide by the government’s social distancing rules as healthcare services need to buy time to be able to care for people who are seriously ill.