The family of an 85 year old woman who died in the ICU of Limassol Hospital yesterday haw disputed the epidemiological monitoring unit’s decision to attribute her death to Covid-19.
But a Health Ministry expert said that the same strict criteria have been implemented as regards deaths from coronavirus based on international protocols.
Speaking to Alpha TV on Thursday, the daughter of the 85 year old, said that because of protocols for coronavirus cases they are now being deprived the right to say goodbye even from the glass pane of a coffin.
The daughter said her mother was taken to the A&E of Polis Chrysochous Hospital on April 10 where doctors diagnosed pneumonia, something she said troubled her mother every year because of her underlying medical conditions.
She was intubated and transferred to the ICU of Limassol Hospital where she underwent a test for coronavirus four times — of which only the second came back positive.
Seven people who had come into contact with her all tested negative.
The woman said that even if her mother was positive, she had later tested negative and died as a result of underlying health issues.
She added that the Health Ministry was now preventing the family from saying goodbye, even through the glass pane of the coffin. “This is inhumane and unfair,” she said adding that the family wanted the woman removed from the list of Covid-19 patients so that they can bid farewell to her in a manner of their choosing.
Asked about the case at the daily press conference on the coronavirus situation in Cyprus, Dr Marios Loizou who is the scientific director of the state health services organisation (Okypi) for Nicosia said the same strict procedures were adhered to for all cases.
In this case, the woman was admitted to Limassol ICU because of severe pneumonia and immediately after tested positive for coronavirus. Patients hospitalised in the ICU for long periods may later test negative, he said.
The cause of death was attributed to the reason for which the patient was admitted to the ICU and in this case, the reason was deemed to be coronavirus, he said.
Loizou said Cyprus followed international protocols on Covid-19 and for protocols to change, there must be a change in the guidance.