Health authorities in Cyprus are on red alert over the new Covid-19 Omicron variant with Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas assuring the public the situation is being monitored.
Hadjipantelas and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Christina Yiannaki, already had a meeting with the management of the State Health Services Organization and the Directors of General Hospitals across the island to assess the situation and exchange views.
Hadjipantelas has said they decided to move some patients from the public hospitals to the private sector so in case there is a rise in the number of hospitalizations to be able to cope.
He also said that a decree will be issued for the transfer of patients and will include certain wards and clinics.
Asked about the new variant and whether the booster shot is protective enough, he said that now there is a higher need for the booster shot, adding that maybe this will not offer 100% protection but 70-80% which is very important.
The Minister also said that now is even more imperative to wear a face mask.
Replying to another question whether there were vaccinated people who were treated in an ICU and lost their lives, the Minister said that most of the patients who died are people with other health conditions.
And that the number of people who got both doses of the vaccine and they lost their lives without having other conditions is very small.
As regards passengers from African countries and the process followed by the authorities in Cyprus, Hadjipantelas said that the results of the tests for 11 people are negative but a second check will be done for confirmation.