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Coronavirus: hospitals now being stretched to limit, doctors say 

State doctors’ union (Pasyki) president Sotiris Koumas on Monday has urgently called on people to remain home as much as they can “as the hospitals’ resilience is now stretched to its limits.”

“Our work is already extremely difficult as it is, our hospitals are at a critical stage with an increasing number of patients received every day,” he said.

Koumas added that situation would become impossible to manage if the number of patients who need hospitalisation increased.

“We need to preserve our doctors’ strength. Our equipment is limited and we need to use it for the most urgent cases,” he said.

Even though Koumas assured hospitals were still able to properly function for the time being, he said the critical situation could have been partially prevented.

“I admit the situation is very difficult. We were not as prepared as we should have been to face the damage brought by the coronavirus.”

Koumas took the example of short-term care wards now emerging, that will admit patients for a short period of time and that will only be used to treat Covid-19 cases.

“We had to adapt to the situation and manage the resources we had prior to the outbreak,” he said.

Koumas said that doctors also fear the spread of the virus from hospital patients.

“Public hospitals, health centres and A&E are still visited by people. We need to be particularly careful as the virus seems to be rapidly spreading in the community,” he said.

He said currently there is a limited number of beds in the intensive care units of hospitals, but planning is already underway for more.

Koumas also said protective equipment for medical staff, such as masks and gloves, were also in short supply and called on medical staff to manage their stocks carefully.

A total of ten doctors have contracted the virus in Cyprus so far.

Finally, he called on competent authorities to listen to doctors who are on the front line fighting the pandemic.

“It needs to be understood that any decision made has to be implemented and executed immediately. It’s counterproductive to have one meeting after another.

“We are all healthcare professionals and, with all due respect, we know better than anyone else how to handle the situation,” he concluded.

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