Half of the patients with coronavirus currently in hospital are under 45 years old including a 24-year-old, head of the head of the Famagusta hospital Amalia Hadjiyianni said on Tuesday, highlighting that younger people are not immune to the virus.
As of Tuesday morning, there were 16 patients at the Famagusta general hospital, four of them in the high dependency unit.
Hadjiyianni, who is the scientific director of the Famagusta hospital, which operates as the coronavirus reference hospital, said the rise of coronavirus cases and their hospitalisation is alarming since it means the spread of the virus is growing among the population.
She told the Cyprus News Agency that the average age of people treated at the Famagusta hospital, has decreased, since 50 per cent of patients are under 45 years old, including the 24-year-old.
“This sends the message that the coronavirus can infect any of us,” she said. “Everyone with no exception, regardless of age and health status, can develop coronavirus symptoms.”
Hadjiyianni expressed concerns over the double-digit number of Covid-19 patients admitted to the referral hospital which “takes us back to last April’s figures and shows an increase in the spread of the virus.”
She added that the increase in coronavirus cases and the hospitalisations should make the public more alert. She called for stricter adherence to all the protocols and rules issued by the health ministry and the epidemiological team.
Hadjiyianni said doctors at the referral hospital, after six months of treating coronavirus patients, are more experienced, wiser and are following the international guidelines. Likewise the nursing staff and together with the doctors they feel far more able deal with these cases, than when the pandemic started.
“The experience we all gained, doctors and nursing staff was quite good, so that today we can treat coronavirus patients from both the psychological and pharmaceutical aspects.”
The coronavirus patients are being treated in what are usually the gynaecology and paediatrics clinics of the hospital, she said. Patients of those two clinics are being treated by the hospital staff outside the hospital.
On the recent protests by some doctors, nursing and paramedical staff that Famagusta hospital is the Covid-19 reference hospital for the second time, Hadjiyianni said staff are afraid that this was stigmatising the hospital and could keep other patients away. But after “the superhuman efforts of the staff” people have returned to the hospital, she said.
“Patients visit the Famagusta general hospital because they have confidence in the doctors and the nursing staff,” Hadjiyianni said, adding that patients are not deterred because the hospital is a reference hospital.