Most hospital admissions for COVID-19 in Cyprus concern unvaccinated cases according to health officials, but basic details on cases regarding infected patients remain sporadic.
The Republic of Cyprus has surpassed one million vaccinations, with Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela declaring on Wednesday that the country was on track to reach its goal by end of September, that is, getting 82% of the eligible adult population jabbed with both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
“The fact that we have surpassed one million jabs is a sign that people trust the experts, the vaccination program, and the government,” Hadjipantela said in a press release.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Hadjipantela also made comments on record numbers of hospitalizations in the Intensive Care Units and COVID wards, saying medical professionals could manage the situation despite pressure on the healthcare system.
But official information released on COVID patients in state hospitals has been sporadic at best, with health officials providing inconsistent data in day-to-day briefings either through statements or the media.
'Many of them are tourists who simply happened to have to tested positive after a PCR or rapid test'
On Wednesday the ministry announced 273 patients were hospitalized, describing 90 of them in critical condition with 41 cases of those intubated.
The Cyprus News Agency reported there were 92 patients in Nicosia, with 4 additional cases in Makarios Children’s Hospital, 77 in Limassol, 14 in Larnaca, 21 in Paphos, and 65 patients in Famagusta.
Official figures suggested 89% of all hospitalized patients had not been vaccinated, but administrators have yet to break down that information based on vaccination status specifically for patients in serious or critical condition.
Elena Panayiotopoulou, Acting Director of Pharmaceutical Services, said there were 8 vaccinated patients in Famagusta General, which was designated last year to operate as the state’s referral hospital.
Panayiotopoulou told state radio on Thursday morning that 6 of the 8 vaccinated patients had received their first dose while 2 of them were doubly vaccinated. But it was not clear how many patients were in critical condition at the facility.
Officials have occasionally included in their statements to the media when a patient had been unvaccinated. But on a national level, last week reports emerged suggesting half of the elderly hospitalized patients had been vaccinated and the other half had no vaccination history.
According to Philenews, which cited information obtained from officials within State Health Services Organization, half of hospitalized elderly patients were vaccinated and the other half had no vaccination history during at least two periods in July.
As for younger adults and middle-aged patients, there were reports that cases in those groups had been on the increase while more recently serious cases amongst the elderly were on the rise.
Clearing hospitals of other patients to host carriers
State hospitals have also been sending non-covid patients to other medical facilities. Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Christina Yiannaki said the transport of non-COVID patients to other facilities in the private sector was a daily effort.
“There is an ongoing effort on a daily basis to make possible the transfer of patients with different medical issues to the private sector, so that state hospitals can host COVID-19 patients,” she said.
Yiannaki went on to say that the ministry would consult with SHSO to “see again what plans were in place for adding more beds.”
Previous reports said health officials have also been monitoring infected persons who were told to isolate at home. It was not fully clear how many hospitalized patients were in need of a hospital bed or whether there were carriers who simply needed to remain in isolation.
Earlier this week, SHSO Famagusta medical director Amalia Hadjiyianni said there were tourists among those hospitalized at Famagusta General.
“Many of them are tourists who simply happened to have to tested positive after a PCR or rapid test,” Hadjiyianni told state radio on Tuesday morning.