The state health services (Okypy) will spend €20 million to buy equipment, services and diagnostic tests to combat the spread of the coronavirus, Okypy head Marios Panayides announced on Tuesday.
The amount was approved by the board of Okypy on Monday, he announced.
Most of this expenditure relates to all types of personal protective equipment which health professionals must have according to protocols, depending on the position they have, both in hospitals and in other areas designated to address Covid-19, Panayides explained.
“We will also purchase a large number of diagnostic tests to increase the ability to test a larger number of our fellow citizens. In addition, equipment and services are purchased for the needs of most of the additional beds created in intensive care units.”
Most of these supplies are expected to arrive in Cyprus by the end of this week by a plane specially chartered by the ministry of health.
“It would be a lie to claim that there are no problems, no gaps, and no mistakes. We are striving day by day for the best possible coordination and immediate resolution of problems arising from this unpredictable epidemic. At the same time, an action plan has been developed that is being implemented and is constantly being evaluated according to the developments,” Panayides added.
Okypy has established separate facilities at each hospital to facilitate the reception of and care for each coronavirus case to safeguard the health of the staff working in the hospitals and to minimise the transmission of the virus via the A&E departments, chief executive officer of Okypy Christis Loizides added.
Screening clinics and other services have been set up which will be in operation before the end of the week.
“Specifically, a patient referred to the screening clinic, either by the public health office or the department of accidents and emergencies, is subject to all the necessary examinations, and if he or she has symptoms of the coronavirus requiring hospitalisation, then he or she is treated in the ward for suspected cases until the outcome of testing is obtained.”
In addition to the Nicosia and Limassol general hospitals, wards for suspected cases have also been set up in the Larnaca and Paphos state hospitals.
If the result is positive and a person is still in need of hospitalisation then the patient will be transferred to Famagusta hospital, which is the referral hospital.
In case patients need hospitalisation in an intensive care unit, they are immediately transferred to Nicosia or Limassol hospitals.
There is also an action plan for ICUs which has started to be implemented.
This means approximately 120 beds are being allocated exclusively for patients infected with the virus. All staff have been informed and training has begun, while equipment will soon be in place.
Another development is sampling via a drive-in at Famagusta and Nicosia hospitals.
“I beg the rest of the healthcare professionals to show interest in our fight, because at these crucial times we will all need your contribution. No one is exempt from this fight,” Loizides stressed.