More than 90% of COVID-19 patients in the island’s hospitals have not been vaccinated yet, the Ministry of Health says in a press release on Wednesday.
It underlines that 70% of the new cases are under 40 years of age.
The Ministry notes that the risk of spreading the virus and becoming seriously ill due to the high infection caused by the new strains remains high. Contact tracing in the last few days as well as an investigation into the background of patients show that 70% of the new cases are under 40 years of age.
Only 4% have completed their vaccination regime, the Ministry says adding that around 16% have received their first dose but remain susceptible to the virus since they have not achieved full immunity. More than 90% of those infected and admitted are unvaccinated.
In recent days, there has been an increase in hospitalizations of young people, who develop serious symptoms and are hospitalized either in an Increased Care Unit or are intubated in Intensive Care Units, the Ministry notes and refers to the case of a 33-year-old patient who on Sunday had to be intubated and transported directly to an Intensive Care Unit.
The Ministry further notes that there is an increasing trend in the number of cases in Limassol and Famagusta districts, with admissions to Limassol General Hospital showing an upward trend. The situation in the remaining districts remains fluid, it adds.
According to the above information and bearing in mind the Indian variant is six times more contagious than the British variant, causes a more aggressive spread of the virus and attacks younger people who are more socially active and the fact that it is detected in mostly unvaccinated people, despite the fact that it has been detected in isolated cases on the island without a travel history and the fact that the process to send samples to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is long, shows that there is a great possibility the new variant is present in the community and causing an increase in cases and serious hospitalisations.
For this reason, the Ministry urges citizens to be extra careful, adhering to personal protective measures as well as health protocols in workplaces and various social functions.
It also urges those who have not been vaccinated, especially younger people, to schedule the soonest their appointments for inoculation, thus lessening the possibility of infecting and spreading the disease at a personal and professional environment and averting a possible new outbreak of COVID.