COVID19: Fewer hospital admissions gives health system respite

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There are fewer COVID-19 hospital admissions and fewer patients in critical condition giving the under pressure heath system a breather, said Health Ministry advisor, Professor Irene Christaki of Cyprus University medical school.

She said this is a precondition for relaxing social distancing measures because the Cyprus health system will have to be ready to accept new confirmed cases and some might be even more serious.

“For the time being, the situation is satisfactory. We are seeing a daily reduction in the number of positive cases.”

Tuesday’s higher numbers she said, were reported because more tests were carried out but they were still below the peak of 58 on April 1.

Christaki said there is no clear indication as to when restrictions will be relaxed.

“In my opinion, we should wait until after Easter.”

“This will prove if we continue to adhere to the restrictive measures during Easter and there will not be an increase in confirmed cases in the next week or two”.

If there is no increase and the positive cases keep falling, then there can be a discussion as to when we can start the first phase of relaxing the measures, she added.

Social distancing measures and closure of non-essential businesses have been extended until April 30.

Some countries said Dr Christaki, have different approaches on relaxing the measures but “we have to see what fits more to the Cypriot reality”.

She said the scientific advisory committee has not decided which measures should be relaxed first.

Christaki said that Cyprus is ranked among the countries which took measures quickly and early with the epidemic under control with small numbers of confirmed cases and low fatality rate.

As for those who are asymptomatic, said Dr Christaki, it seems that in Cyprus and internationally it is a significant percentage reaching up to 50% in some cases.

“We do not yet know the exact contribution to the evolution of the virus.

We know for sure that it is transmitted by the symptomatic, we know that there is transmission in the pre-symptomatic period and therefore the virus may be transmitted from the asymptomatic.”

An islandwide epidemiological investigation into a random sample of 800 people and conducting 20,000 lab tests on frontline workers will help Cyprus assess more accurately the spread of the infection.

“It will give us important information so that we can make better decisions for the next steps.” (source CNA)