COVID19: Health system pushed to limits

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The Cyprus health system is being pushed to its limits, as the number of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalisation is rising rapidly and putting a strain on state facilities, a senior officer of the health services organisation (OKYPY) said on Wednesday.

“The situation is worrying,” said OKYPY’s spokesperson Charalampos Charilaou.

“We see the numbers rising by the day, with admissions outnumbering releases, so we expect that the next days will be very difficult,” OKYPY’s spokesperson said on CyBC radio..

As of Tuesday night, there were 231 patients infected with the coronavirus admitted in hospitals, 59 of whom were in an ICU or a high dependency unit.

Charilaou said that state hospitals have already started making more room for COVID patients, by sending non urgent cases to the private sector.

“We hope that the private sector will be in a position to take in more patients from the public sector, so as to decongest hospitals and increase beds for COVID patients,” said the OKYPY spokesperson.

“In order to deal with the situation and according to the plan we have, since Tuesday night another COVID ward was set up at the Limassol General Hospital to meet the growing needs. We have plans to open more COVID wards in other hospitals if the need arises,” Charilaou was quoted by the Cyprus News Agency as saying.

Meanwhile, the head of the COVID-19 ward at Limassol General, Dr. Andreas Costis said that the situation at the hospital is “out of control” with the numbers of patients in need of treatment at the hospital rising critically.

Costis said that the new COVID ward that had opened on Tuesday night was filled by the next day, as some 30 patients were admitted overnight.

He added that 82 of the now 90 available beds in COVID wards have been taken up.

“Patients are mostly people under the age of 50, with the youngest being 22 years old. Some 90% have not been vaccinated,” said Costis.

“Many of the patients come late, in a serious condition, even if they are at a young age”, he said, adding that the number of ICU patients has reached 16 in Limassol and will be growing in the coming days.

According to OKYPY data, 4,022 people were treated in hospital until July 8, with 402 in intensive care units.