COVID19: Hospital admissions to rise before measures pay off

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Experts expect an increase in the number of COVID-19 hospital patients over the coming days despite tougher measures which include lockdowns for Limassol and Paphos.

Taking to his Twitter account on Thursday, Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, an expert in infection prevention and control, argued that “a very large load of active coronavirus has accumulated” with a large number of people expected to exhibit symptoms of the virus in the coming weeks.

Dr Tsioutis tweeted, that he expected to see lockdown measures start to pay dividends in the coming days with new cases stabilising and epidemiological indices taking a downward turn.

He said authorities had decided against a total lockdown as “we continue to rely to a great extent on individual responsibility and awareness”.

He added that most public spaces in areas that are epidemiologically in the “red” will be closed with the maximum number of people at gatherings dropping significantly.

Scientists argue that an islandwide lockdown, for which no one would know when it would end, should be a last resort.

“Taking into consideration current epidemiological indices, there is still room for other actions before the need for a general lockdown.”

Although Tsioutis, a government advisor, does not rule out this option if epidemiological data gets even worse.

“The experience of recent months has helped us to design measures based on local observations with less impact on the economy.

“it is also important to defend other aspects of society, such as social interaction, the family institution, mental health by directly limiting contacts in the most affected areas” .

Commenting on the night-time curfew, Tsioutis noted that the measure clearly aims at reducing people’s close contacts, especially in establishments which can facilitate the spread of the virus.

Tsioutis said it is practically impossible to test everyone, arguing that even with a large-scale testing program, a number of positive cases would still go undetected.

“Furthermore, no matter how sensitive a testing method is, there will be many false negatives with a number of positive cases still not being detected.”

Currently, 73 patients are being treated at the Covid-19 referral hospital at Famagusta General, as well as special wards in other state hospitals.

Cyprus announced four more deaths of coronavirus patients on Wednesday, making it seven within 48 hours, total infections since the pandemic started in March is 6,461.