The island’s two main hospitals partially resumed operations on Thursday when coronavirus cases rose to seven after a person who recently returned from the UK tested positive.
The outpatients department of the Nicosia General Hospital reopened on Thursday, though the cardiac and vascular surgery departments are to remain closed until March 15.
All surgeries and admissions for all specialties have been cancelled until Sunday. Visitors are also forbidden to enter the hospital until Sunday.
Patients recovering in hospital will be discharged according to their condition while those who require immediate surgery will be referred to the private sector through the purchase of services.
All scheduled appointments at the Limassol General Hospital resumed on Thursday but scheduled admissions and surgeries scheduled before Sunday will remain cancelled. Visitors were also advised to adhere to visiting hours and only one visitor could visit a patient at a time.
The Health Ministry urged people to go to ER only in cases of emergency and instructed those who have travelled to affected countries and have mild symptoms to remain home and contact 1420 for instructions.
Blood bank levels low
Deputy Head of the blood bank Socrates Menelaou said on Thursday that widespread concern over the coronavirus spread has caused a significant decrease in blood donated and a series of cancellations of scheduled donations.
Menelaou stressed that the blood bank procedures are strictly monitored and completely safe for both donors and patients.
He added that several blood donations were scheduled to take place in March at schools, though these will by Friday be closing their doors islandwide in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Menelaou warned that blood bank levels are now extremely low, noting that “it will take weeks or months to restore the situation to previous levels.”
Blood can be donated at the Engomi station, while in Limassol and Larnaca blood donation stations have moved from hospitals to ensure better protection for public health.
In Limassol, a blood donation station has been set up at Agios Georgios Havouzas Church, while in Larnaca blood donations are being hosted in the events hall of the former Famagusta Coop Savings Bank.
Menelaou said people who have travelled abroad cannot donate blood for a period of 28 days.
“Blood donation cannot be put on pause due to the current situation,” Menelaou said,