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The health system has exceeded its limits, says President of Cyprus Respiratory Society

The health system has already exceeded its limits and September is expected to be a difficult month, said on Tuesday Dr. Charis Armeftis, President of the Cyprus Respiratory Society.

Armeftis told CNA that the health system has already exceeded its limits with hospitalisations in the ICUs already reaching the highest-possible “red” level without knowing what will happen in September as it is expected that it will be a hard month.

What we are worried about is the number of serious cases that remains high as well as hospitalisations in the ICU, he said. “The problem is what will happen if these hospitalisations will require intubation and what will happen after the summer holidays,” he noted.

During holidays, he said, contacts increase and there is a relative increase in cases.

I believe our system has exceeded its capacity.  In Intensive Care Units and Increased Care Units it is a borderline situation. We are certainly worried about what will happen in September. When schools reopen, we do not know how strict the measures will be and how they will affect us if there is an increase in daily cases.

Regarding September, Dr. Armeftis said “we are worried that no measures from the ones already in place can allow us to be comfortable or sure that hospitalisations will decrease”. He said vaccinations improve the situation but not directly. We estimate that someone who is vaccinated today, will require 45 days to develop the kind of immunity that will protect him/her significantly

On the other hand, we are dealing with a super transmissible variant which also affects those vaccinated and there’s a situation where people do not maintain personal protective measures, he added.

Our only hope is that the vaccination levels will halt the number of cases, but bear in mind that we need a full vaccination rate of 82% and over to be able to feel safe. Right now, we are at 70%, so there’s still a way to go. Dr. Armeftis said specialised staff is the main factor helping patients overcome COVID but the number is limited.

Dr. Armeftis said that if one does not go through COVID or witness a relative with the virus, “they cannot comprehend what is going on. The situation is very difficult and we are worried. When you see that people are in danger of losing their lives, when you witness people dying when they could have been saved if they were vaccinated, you can’t avoid worrying”.

Meanwhile, Assistant Director of the Pediatric Department at Makarios hospital, Dr. Marianna Kousparou said the three children in the hospital with COVID-19 are in good condition.

She told CNA that the infant, only seven days old, is being monitored by neonatal doctors.

The other two children being treated are aged 14 months and 25 months.

Both children are in good health with no complications, she added.

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