Health officials in Cyprus are warning that even though the number of COVID-19 cases has decreased, hospitalisations and ICU admissions remain high and urged the public to continue taking personal protective measures especially during the 15th of August holiday season.
According to epidemiologist Michalis Voniatis the number of cases might have gone down but hospitalisations remain stable.
He told CNA that if the situation does not subside soon, then September will be a difficult month.
Despite the fact that the number of cases is 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, he said.
First, 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.
We need to keep monitoring the situation, said Dr. Voniatis, adding that he is “concerned over the fact that hospitalisations are high despite the fact that the cases have dropped”. We do not see the number of hospitalisations going down as we have seen in the earlier stages of the pandemic, he added.
He also said that with the increase of fully vaccinated people, the number of cases should be dropping.
We need to secure complete vaccinations, he said, and added that although this is happening, he did not believe it will be complete by the end of September.
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 also said he believes the number of cases is greater than the number published as there are problems with the tests performed at pharmacies.
Meanwhile Spokesperson of the State Health Services Organisation (SHSO), Charalambos Charilaou, said the pressure on ICUS will continue to exist however the situation in general COVID wards is stabilising.
The situation he added, is being monitored on a daily basis and action is taken where necessary.
The number of patients in ICUs is large, around 50 patients daily. Charilaou said that the numbers will continue to be at these levels into next week until there is a stabilisation and eventually a decrease.
There are 11 persons in Limassol General Hospital ICU and continue to be intubated due to COVID.
He appealed to people to be especially careful during their summer holidays and 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 the Famagusta and Larnaca, said 89% of the patients being treated with COVID at the Reference hospital in Famagusta have not been vaccinated.
She said that there are 66 patients of which six in the Increased Care Unit. The youngest patent is 32 and the oldest 92 with the median age being 60 years.
There were many admissions on Tuesday, she said, with 89% of those hospitalised not vaccinated. She too appealed to the public to take personal protective measures to avoid an outbreak of cases.
Meanwhile, head of Paphos General Hospital said the condition of 27 patients in COVID-19 wards is better. He also said that the 27 patients are of different ages.