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12° Nicosia,
26 October, 2021
 
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Family of unvaccinated COVID victim hits back

Letter from lawyers blames hospital where unvaxxed man spent over a month after COVID infection

Newsroom

The family of a COVID victim who died last month at Nicosia General is pointing finger at the state hospital, while dismissing reports in the media that their loved one’s religious faith or private medical advice had brought about his demise.

Last month 47-year-old Yiorgos Demetriou, from Famagusta District, died in the Intensive Care Unit at Nicosia General after being infected with the coronavirus. It was not clear how long he had waited before checking into the hospital but reports said friends had urged him to go sooner.

Demetriou and other men in his age group who recently lost the battle after a COVID infection had reportedly been unvaccinated, with local media pointing to allegations that some had fake vaccination certificates from doctors in different districts and others had turned to a doctor who had criticized the government over the pandemic.

Elpidoforos Soteriades, who was visited by Demetriou during the initial stages of the infection, had written a letter to the President late last year asking for the government to reconsider measures as well as be more flexible in evaluating them.

Soteriades, who has a medical degree with a doctoral track on epidemiology, has been slammed on social media for his “unorthodox practices” while he has been called a “charlatan doctor” who prescribed “antibody cocktails” to patients.

Officials did not specify the exact cause of death but the health ministry suggested deaths were either attributed to the coronavirus or they were post-covid patients who died of other complications

A number of doctors were under investigation following the allegations, while Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela last week requested a list of names of all physicians who are known not to promote vaccination to their patients.

But the Demetriou family, through a written statement by their lawyers, said they respected and honored the scientific competence and humanity of Soteriades, “who offered his support to our loved one from the very beginning.”

“So we do not accept any notion, insinuation, or accusation wherever that may come from regarding the work and assistance offered by the doctor in question,” the statement said.

The family went on to say that Demetriou had been receiving treatment at Nicosia General Hospital for over a month before he passed away.

Officials did not specify the exact cause of death for Demetriou but the health ministry suggested deaths were either attributed to the coronavirus or they were post-covid patients who died of other complications.

But the family says any possible blame in the loss of their beloved husband and father should be sought within the surroundings of Nicosia General Hospital.

The letter also disputed claims that anyone from the church had anything to do with Demetriou’s death, following accusations in the media that Morphou Bishop Neophytos had influenced people including the father of three.

Neophytos, a known anti-vaxxer who recently got infected with COVID, had praised Soteriades last year after the Cyprus Open University professor penned his indicting letter against the government’s pandemic measures.

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