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Coronavirus: Two more patients die, eight new cases (updated)

Two more patients suffering with coronavirus died while eight more cases were confirmed, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The deceased are a 63-year-old British man who was at the Limassol general hospital and a 58-year-old Greek Cypriot man that was treated at Nicosia hospital.

This brings to three the total number of people of who have died and the total number of confirmed cases in the Republic to 124, including three detected in the British Bases. Sixty-five of these cases concern contacts of persons already tested positive.

The 63-year-old was patient zero at the Paphos hospital, who contracted the virus after being visited by relatives from the UK and transmitted it to staff and other patients. The man had underlying conditions. After his condition worsened, he was taken to Limassol general hospital where he died.

The 58-year-old had no underlying health conditions, the ministry said.

As regards the eight new cases, three of them are contacts of people already tested positive to Covid-19 and two concern people who had returned from European countries and contacted the authorities after having symptoms. Three cases concern people whose history is being looked into.

The health ministry said that the effort to deal with the pandemic has now entered the next phase.

It added that four people are currently intubated, two at the Limassol hospital’s intensive care unit and two at the Nicosia hospital’s ICU, while several others might need to be intubated in the future.

“We are dealing with more serious cases. We hoped it would not happen, but it did,” the ministry said.

There are now 19 patients at Famagusta general hospital, three of whom are in the ICU. There is also one patient at Nicosia general hospital.

“The main problem is severe pneumonia,” the ministry said, adding that the “great battle” is being given now at the hospitals’ ICUs and the supporting units.

In addition to Famagusta hospital, which operates as a reference hospital, screening rooms for suspected cases have been set up at the Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca general hospitals.

At the same time, additional wards have been evacuated at the Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca hospitals, which are expected to receive either additional cases for triage, or confirmed cases, particularly with severe pneumonia that require inpatient care.

Currently, there are 32 ICU beds available for Covid-19 patients, the ministry said. It added that the number of beds could be gradually increased to 125 with the addition of 89 additional beds in Nicosia and four in Limassol.

The ministry also urged members of the public to give hospitals the opportunity to be as prepared as possible.

“Expressing the anxiety of all our hospital staff, we implore you to stay home,” the health ministry said.

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