Mayors and community leaders in the free Famagusta district are fretting over the decision to name the hospital there as the reference hospital to treat patients who have tested positive with coronavirus.
Three patients who have tested positive for the virus were transferred to the hospital last night. They are in good spirits and have no complications, officials said. The other three of Cyprus’ six confirmed cases are in quarantine at home as they have only mild symptoms.
The hospital is being gradually cleared and patients are being referred to Larnaca Hospital which has cancelled routine surgeries to cope with the increased demand. The private sector will also be used.
Officials have explained that Famagusta Hospital was selected so as to free facilities at Nicosia and Limassol Hospitals to deal with suspect cases. They have assured that there is no risk to residents.
However, in a letter to Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou and copied to party leaders the mayors of Paralimni, Ayia Napa, Sotira and Dherynia and the community leaders of Frenaros, Avgorou, Acheritou and Achna have objected to the decision.
They said that the residents were worried because the hospital is in a residential area. Tourism professionals are also concerned with the district being associated with a hospital treating patients with the virus.
The letter notes that unlike other districts, Famagusta does not have a lot of clinics and these cannot replace the services offered by the hospital.
Closing the children’s and gynecological ward and suspending operation of other services at the hospital was ‘criminal’ they added.
But the scientific director of the hospital Amalia Hadjiyianni said there was no reason for concern among residents.
She said doctors have beds at their disposal additional beds should there be an increase in the number of patients. There is also a plan to evacuate the ICU if there is a coronavirus patient that needs to be incubated.
“Patients with coronavirus are being monitored by specially trained personnel, there is a special pathologist, an infectious disease doctor visits the three patients twice a day and intensive care experts will be sent if the need arises,” she said.