Despite the dominance of Omicron, the Delta variant is still spreading in the community, responsible for most of the serious COVID-19 cases needing intensive care.
According to the State Health Services Organisation (OKYPY), around 90% of OCVID-19 patients treated in ICUs have been infected by the Delta variant, despite Omicron causing 90% of infections.
In comments to Phileleftheros daily, OKYPY’s spokesperson Charalambos Charilaou said 75-77% of patients in COVID wards are infected with Omicron.
“But around four patients infected with Delta are admitted every day to a state hospital,” said Charilaou.
On average, 25 patients with COVID-19 are admitted to hospitals.
Despite Delta, cases admitted to hospitals being lower than Omicron, most patients landing in ICUs contracted the Delta variant, which is more aggressive.
Charilaou said: “A number of ICU patients suffer from severe pneumonia, severe respiratory failure and need long term intensive care.”
“The majority of patients are elderly people without a vaccination history.”
The Health Ministry’s data shows that re-infections are recording a steady increase in recent weeks, raising concerns amongst scientists over the effectiveness of immunity built up from previous coronavirus strains.
Scientists have already requested a detailed report to understand better how the community’s immunity from previous infections is fairing against the Omicron variant.
Dr Christos Petrou, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and government advisor, said: “Re-infections are worrying, especially if they occur in a short period and after the prevalence of the Omicron variant”.
The results of recently published studies, added Petrou, “suggest that Omicron-induced immunity may not be sufficient to prevent infection by another, more pathogenic variant that exists or may occur in the future”.
He said the Delta variant should not be written off, as it is still circulating and causing severe illness.
Last week, 1,830 re-infections were identified from samples collected between 29 January and 4 February.
Meanwhile, the test positivity rate recorded in Cyprus has ranged from 2.5% to 3.6%.
On Monday, authorities reported another 3,374 COVID-19 cases and four deaths. The total has risen to 274,979 infections and 749 deaths.