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25 July, 2024
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Ioannou: Matter of time until health system brought to its knees

The capacity of public hospitals has been almost doubled from 250 beds to 400, but the Health Minister urged caution over the heightened risk of triggering a collapse of the healthcare system


Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou warned Wednesday that if the current trend of rising new cases and hospital admissions continues, it will only be a matter of time until the healthcare system is brought to its knees.

In a written statement, Ioannou said the relaxations that came into effect on Tuesday, featuring the shifting of the curfew time from 9pm to 11pm and a reopening of exterior seating spaces of eateries and bars, were implemented in a bid to ease the public’s fatigue and boost morale, while remaining cautious over the need to reduce daily cases and hospitalizations.

Ioannou noted that since several weeks ago, amid visible risks of a renewed deteriorations of the island’s epidemiological situation, and in cooperation with a number of health bodies, the capacity of public hospitals was almost doubled from 250 beds to 400, while boosting hospitals’ ability to cater to non-coronavirus related treatment needs.

However, Ioannou said, the driving force allowing hospitals to offer quality treatment to coronavirus patients is the availability of human resources of specific specializations.

Current data shows that despite measures in place, both daily new cases and hospital admissions are rising. Admissions especially are seeing an increase of 7-10 people per day, outnumbering the number of daily hospital discharges.

“If we continue to see this increasing trend in the coming period, it will be a matter of time until we reach the limits of the healthcare system, which will no longer be able to offer quality treatment to patients.”

Ioannou added that “we hoping we won’t reach that stage. It’s unfair, just before the end, to destroy what we have achieved through sacrifices and deprivations over the past year.”

The Health Minister said that through the cooperation of all, it is possible to stabilize epidemiological indices, stressing that we’re reaching the end and that the only way to have a successful recovery is to remain focused on following measured and safety protocols.

“Life is in our hands,” Ioannou said.

Expert says pandemic to stabilize by April end

Member of the government’s health advisory committee Petros Karayiannis said Cyprus’ epidemiological situation, particularly as regards daily new coronavirus cases, will stabilized by the end of April, while cases will begin a steady decline over the next two weeks allowing additional relaxations.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Karayiannis said that the positivity has hovered around 1% over the past three days, stressing that attention should now shift onto the healthcare system, which is currently treating 221 coronavirus patients.  

As the island’s vaccination rollout continues, Karayiannis said hospital admissions too are expected to normalize with discharges picking up speed.




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