COVID19: Cyprus hospitals feel brunt of virus upturn

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Cyprus’ hospitals are feeling the brunt of a steep increase in daily COVID-19 cases as they surged beyond the 400 barrier.

Famagusta General, the COVID referral hospital, on Wednesday, said it was at 96% capacity, according to its medical director Dr Amalia Hadjiyianni.

Hadjiyianni said that 72 patients were being treated at the hospital with the youngest aged 17 and the oldest aged 70.

She said the average age of patients is dropping at Famagusta General, but symptoms remain the same as they had in the first wave.

“But only this time around patients are much younger”.

She added, however, that younger patients can better cope with fighting the virus.

“Many young people who are being treated at the hospital have trouble breathing despite not having any underlying conditions. Some of them are on oxygen support”.

The majority of Cyprus’ elderly have been inoculated, as Cyprus’ vaccination program has covered the vast majority of people over 75.

“At the moment, the situation is manageable, but we all need to respect the measures in place to avoid seeing hospitals fill up,” warned Hadjiyianni.

Asked why she thought cases and hospital admissions have risen, she said it was the result of gradually relaxing the January lockdown.

“We are all vulnerable to the virus, no one is completely safe. That’s why we need respect measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones”.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry said 154 patients were being treated at four state hospitals, of whom 29 are critical.

This is up from 145 and 25, respectively, on Monday. Cyprus counts 200 beds in Covid wards.

The total number of all infections since the pandemic started is 37,650 and 233 deaths.