The number of Covid-19 patients at the Famagusta reference hospital fell to 45 on Friday, equivalent to 60 per cent of its capacity, after the implementation of lockdown measures following a surge of hospital admissions over the last four weeks.

But concern remains over the high number of patients in the ICU as well as the almost daily announcements for coronavirus related deaths.

“The number of patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and the number of deaths of patients, suggests a moderate optimism,” said its Medical Director Dr Amalia Hadjiyianni to the Cyprus News Agency.

Six of the patients at Famagusta General were treated in the higher dependency unit. One elderly patient is a care home resident, while the average age of the hospitalised patients is 71 years.

“It seems that in the last 15 days the number of patients being treated for coronavirus has been steady, and this certainly reflects the reduced number of cases in the community,” she added.

Hadjiyianni said the decrease on hospitalisations was due to the “faithful implementation of the measures,” and the vaccinations.

She also called on the public to “make small sacrifices” and abide by the health protocols, so the country can lift the restriction measures “which was deemed necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic”.

Meanwhile vaccination in Famagusta continue at the maternity and child welfare Centre at the Famagusta medical centre daily starting 8am to 4pm.

“Those who received the vaccine first have started receiving the second dose of the vaccine,” she added.

The number of hospitalised coronavirus patients had spiralled to more than 150, the highest since the start of the outbreak at the end of December.

To contain the infections, Health Minister Costantinos Ioannou announced lockdown measures starting on January 10. In line with the improved epidemiological situation, slight relaxations will be enforced on Monday with the opening of beauty and hair salons. Retail stores will also reopen on February 8 when primary school and final year secondary school pupils will be back in class.