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Higher ICU admissions feared amid Covid-19 surge

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If the daily number of coronavirus cases continue at the same rate there are increased chances of seeing more people in intensive care and more deaths, member of the advisory committee on the pandemic Constantinos Tsioutis said on Thursday.

Tsioutis repeated the health ministry’s warning that the rising number of cases has led to a dangerous increase in the need for hospitalisation which could even result in death. He also said that according to statistics, one in two people admitted to intensive care with coronavirus, dies.

He expressed concerns to the Cyprus News Agency over the rising number of people admitted to hospital, which has doubled since last week while there has been increase also in the number of people in intensive care.

“The very large load of active disease observed in the previous days leads us to the conclusion that it is very likely that in the coming days we will have even more hospitalisations and people in need of intensive care,” Tsioutis told the CNA.

In total 1,091 coronavirus cases have been detected between October 21 and Wednesday as three-digit numbers are announced daily.

Tsioutis said the full extent of the effects of this rising trend of the last two or three weeks has not been seen yet since a person may need hospital treatment between two to four weeks after they test positive.

“Because this number of cases is very large, in the coming weeks we might see an increasing number of people in intensive care units and that is why we are concerned and that is why we must pay attention to our contacts, to protect the vulnerable who are the first candidates to end up in hospitals and ICUs, but also younger people who have chronic diseases,” he added.

Statistics show that nearly one in two Covid-19 patients admitted to the ICU with Covid-19 die, he noted.

“A percentage of patients will need hospitalisation, a percentage will need intensive care and so a percentage will die,” he said. He added that the mortality rate in ICUs at the moment the mortality is around 40 per cent to 50 per cent. “So, it is expected that we will see deaths, so we do not want things to get there,” he noted.

He added that the situation is being assessed daily because it is too early to assess the effectiveness of the restrictive measures announced last week.

“We will also be concerned if we see elderly and vulnerable people becoming infected with the virus,” he said, adding that so far, the percentage of elderly people found to be positive is very low. He warned, however, that it was a matter of time to see a rise in coronavirus cases among the elderly if those who have the virus or who are in self-isolation do not follow the measures in place. The same goes for children who do not become seriously ill but can transmit the virus to their family environment.

He noted that the elderly and people with underlying diseases are much more likely to develop a serious illness and need hospitalisation or present complications from the disease.

According to Tsioutis, though it seems the situation is stabilising despite the high numbers, “we have not escaped the danger at all, and it will take long to get out of this serious situation.” He explained that when authorities have to deal with almost a thousand incidents detected in a week, it is not easy to know for how long positive people can remain contagious or to how many others the virus can be transmitted and detected.

He added that this situation has been ongoing for a long time and it will take several weeks until it is checked and clarified.

There were 38 patients in hospitals around the island on Wednesday evening, four of them in the ICU unit of Nicosia General and four in the increased dependency unit of Famagusta General.

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