Two people were discharged from Famagusta hospital after their second test for coronavirus came back negative, bringing the number of Covid-19 patients there to nine, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Friday.
It said that four of the nine patients are in the high dependency unit. Their condition is described as stable.
Following a spike in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in recent weeks, the number of patients at the Famagusta hospital – which operates as the reference hospital for coronavirus — rose close to 20 but is now back in single digits. The two patients were discharged late on Thursday.
The development came as Dherynia mayor Andros Karayiannis appealed to the health minister to boost the hospital with additional staff and reopen the pediatric ward, which has been used for coronavirus patients since March.
He joins hospital staff and others in the community in calling on authorities to bolster the hospital. There have been calls for additional health professionals as well as suggestions that coronavirus patients be treated at all hospitals islandwide.
Karayiannis said that as a reference hospital, Famagusta General needed immediate reinforcement with medical and other personnel and for it to return to normal operation to avoid it being ‘stigmatised’ as the hospital which admits coronavirus cases.
Before a on the issue on Monday, he urged the minister to support hospital management and staff to take speedy action for additional beds.
Karayiannis said he wrote to the minister “as mayor and a parent of two children aged 4 and 9 for the reopening of the children’s ward before it is too late.”
He said it was unacceptable for children with symptoms of gastroenteritis, respiratory problems, infections, or fever spasms to be treated at the A&E and then be referred by ambulance to Nicosia General Hospital or Makarios Hospital.
It was unacceptable in a European country that a gynaecological ward should close to treat other patients. The same goes for the physio unit and other departments, he added.
A total of 1,772 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Cyprus since the start of the outbreak in early March.