COVID19: Hospital patients rising, state eyes private sector

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The numbers of COVID patients in ICUs and Acute Care Units have increased in the past ten days, alerting health authorities to seek help from the private sector.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, OKYPY spokesperson Charalambos Charilaou said: “The number of patients with coronavirus is on the rise.

“The number of patients in ACUs and ICUs has doubled. We cannot sit around and wait. We need to prepare”.

Charilaou said Nicosia General’s ICU also caters to another 30 other patients who are intubated with other health problems.

“It is imperative that we once again turn to the private sector to take care of patients who do not suffer from coronavirus.”

On November 8, 13 COVID patients were treated in an ACU; a week later, that number reached 26.

The number of ICU patients with COVID a week ago was 9; it is now 15.

According to official data, on 8 November, 67 coronavirus patients were in state hospitals, reaching 88 on Monday.

Last week, the State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY) said an influx of COVID and other seasonal infection patients led to a 100% occupancy rate in state hospitals.

Charilaou also said authorities are concerned as the percentage of fully vaccinated people needing hospitalisation has stabilised at 35-40%, while the median age of people hospitalised is 63, and 61 for ICUs.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 booster shots will be available for people over 40 from Wednesday, following a government’s decision to gradually administer them to its adult population.

Cyprus is seeking to improve its coronavirus vaccination coverage in light of the new surge of coronavirus infections.

Acknowledging that boosting the immunity of vaccinated people will not stem the spread of the coronavirus, scientists have suggested social distancing, and mandatory mask-wearing remain in place.

Some scientists advising the government have suggested the introduction of self-tests and targeted testing for vaccinated people.

According to the Health Ministry, 66.6% of the total population of around one million are fully vaccinated.

Cyprus has reported over 128,000 COVID-19 cases and 588 deaths.

The 14-day cumulative case rate leading up to 8 November was 284.7 per 100,000 population.