COVID19: Highest number of ICU patients, majority unvaccinated

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Cyprus State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY) sounded the alarm over a record 42 COVID-19 patients in hospital ICU units, as authorities are forced to increase available beds.

OKYPY spokesperson Charalmpos Charilaou confirmed to the Cyprus News Agency that 42 patients were in ICUs, the most since the outbreak in March 2020, but the situation is described as “manageable”.

The previous record for patients in ICU was in late April, when 39 patients were being treated during the third wave of coronavirus.

According to the latest Health Ministry data, 286 patients were in state hospitals, with 83 in a more serious condition, of which 40 were intubated.

“Despite the difficulties, the situation is manageable, but with the number of COVID-19 patients in state hospitals close to 300, we need to secure more beds,” Charilaou told CNA.

“We are opening wards where and when necessary so that no one is left without the necessary medical help.”

Charilaou said an additional 40 beds would be made available at Paphos General Hospital to relieve some of the pressure on the health system.

He reassured the public there were “enough” available beds but urged people to get vaccinated and continue to observe personal protection measures.

Over the past few weeks, state hospitals have been sending non-urgent cases needing hospitalisation to the private sector to make more room for COVID patients.

Patients unvaccinated

Meanwhile, according to official data, 88.8% of all patients currently being treated in COVID wards or ICUs are not vaccinated.

The percentage of unvaccinated patients in Larnaca and Famagusta general hospitals is much higher at 95%.

Speaking on state radio, George Karotsakis, OKYPY’s executive director for Larnaca and Famagusta, said that 95% of the patients are unvaccinated, and 3% were given the first dose.

Fully vaccinated people in need of treatment, he said, amount to just 1.5%.

Karotsakis said that 12 extra beds would be added to the capacity of Famagusta General Hospital, which is operating at capacity.