News of a 22-year-old pregnant woman suffering from COVID-19 put on a ventilator at Nicosia General Hospital’s ICU has shocked the public.
In her 18th week of pregnancy, the woman was intubated on Tuesday after developing severe pneumonia after contracting COVID-19.
She is the youngest person to be intubated with severe respiratory failure.
The woman was one of 41 COVID-19 ICU patients in a more serious condition.
A total of 159 patients are in COVID-19 wards and ICUs in Cyprus hospitals, with authorities sounding the alarm over the strain on the country’s health system.
Experts are concerned as cases in hospitals are getting younger, with a 35 and a 46-year-old also being intubated on Tuesday.
Both men were in good health, reports from the hospital said.
At Nicosia General, most cases admitted to the wards are younger people who are not vaccinated, while some cases involved people who have had one COVID-19 jab.
According to the latest national report on the pandemic, the median age of cases has dropped to 23, the median age of patients is 53 years.
Younger people appear to more hesitant to take a COVID-19 vaccine, with young women fearing complications either during their pregnancy or it may cause sterility.
Dr Zoe Dorothea Pana, advisor to the government on coronavirus, said that according to studies, vaccines do not affect fertility.
She said young people need to be informed about the benefits of vaccines, and scientists need to address their concerns.
According to the Cyprus Society of Perinatal Medicine, pregnant women who test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms are considered to be high-risk with an increased chance of becoming severely unwell.
International organisations also favour pregnant and breastfeeding women to be vaccinated with a Pfizer or Moderna jab, as most studies are for mRNA vaccinations.
Vaccination can occur during childbearing or assisted reproduction. In pregnancy between the two doses, the second jab can be postponed until the second trimester.
Cyprus on Tuesday reported a record 1,081 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths.