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COVID19: Cases receding, but hospitalisations still high

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Health officials warn that although the number of COVID-19 cases has decreased, hospitalisations and ICU admissions remain high, urging the public to stay vigilant during the August holidays.

According to epidemiologist Michalis Voniatis, the number of cases might have gone down, but hospitalisations remain stable.

He told CNA that September would be a difficult month if the situation does not subside soon.

“Despite the fact, cases are going down; the problem is that we have a sufficient number of hospitalisations and the highest number of admissions in ICUs as well as intubations.

“We might not be able to locate all cases because the free rapid tests have stopped, and second, it is possible children and younger people might be hospitalised with severe symptoms due to the Delta variant.”

Dr Voniatis is concerned because hospitalisations are high despite cases dropping.

“We do not see the number of hospitalisations going down as we have seen in the earlier stages of the pandemic.”

He said with more people becoming fully vaccinated, the number of cases should be dropping.

Voniatis said people should continue to take strict personal protective measures, especially in indoor areas.

“If we do not adhere to taking measures, then the possibility of infecting even vaccinated people is greater, and they, in turn, can transmit the virus, even if they might not become very sick”.

He believes the real number of cases is greater than the figures published as there are problems with the tests performed at pharmacies.

The spokesperson for the State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY), Charalambos Charilaou, said the pressure on ICUs would continue to exist, but the situation in COVID wards is stabilising.

The number of patients in ICUs is large, around 50 patients daily.

Charilaou said these numbers would continue into next week until there is stabilisation and eventually a decrease.

He appealed to people to be especially careful during their summer holidays, avoid being in crowded areas, maintain all health protocols, wear masks, keep distances, and lessen their contacts to avoid the spread of the virus.

Amalia Hadjiyianni, Scientific Director of Famagusta General, said 89% of the patients treated with COVID at the reference hospital had not been vaccinated.

The youngest patent is 32 and the oldest 92 with the median age of 60.