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Coronavirus: patients fearful of visiting doctors

Photo: CNA

PEOPLE are fearful of visiting doctors amid the Covid-19 pandemic and this could lead to further loss of life, the president of the private doctors’ union has warned.

Patients suffering from other illnesses have now been silenced due to the outbreak and their treatment has been severely impeded, Haris Armeftis said on Friday.

“What worries us is the collateral damage of the pandemic,” he said.

People are still getting sick, Armeftis said, but there is a widespread fear of going to doctors and hospitals.

The Cyprus Mail reported on Thursday, that as of April 7 some 25.4 per cent of Covid-19 infections were amongst healthcare workers.

Armeftis also highlighted the concern that doctors are forced to diagnose some patients over the phone.

“Some may not have obvious symptoms of their illness and it can be very difficult to diagnose over the phone,” he said.

He explained that this could lead to the loss of life as people are not being properly treated.

Doctors and hospitals are also reluctant to accept patients with a cough or fever over fears of transmitting the virus.

“A solution must be found in such cases, as a fever can come from brain complications for example.”

“This is a wrong move,” he said. “We must look at the issue of collateral damage as well as Covid-19 patients.”

It was announced on Wednesday that the private sector will be treating all urgent cases to allow state hospitals to be able to respond to increased needs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the new arrangements, private hospitals will be treating urgent cases through their accident and emergency departments. Patients will either be transferred there by ambulances or can directly go there on their own.

Private hospitals will also be carrying out urgent surgeries that cannot be performed at state hospitals and treat patients referred to them by public sector clinics and A&Es.

Suspected coronavirus cases are handled only by state hospitals.

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