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Coronavirus: Probe into death of man who had been told to go home

The Outbreak Of The Coronavirus Disease (covid 19), In Lodi
File photo

The state health services organisation (Okypy) said on Monday it would launch a probe into claims that a man, 80, who died of coronavirus in hospital on Sunday had earlier been told his case was not serious enough for hospitalisation and he should go home.

The case was reported by journalist Costas Constantinou, the 80-year-old’s nephew, who announced on Sunday his uncle “was the latest victim of Covid-19 in Cyprus” also chastising the way the elderly man and his wife were treated when they were first taken to hospital.

“He had been diagnosed positive, together with my aunt – who has a congenital problem with her lungs – they were confined to the house but became seriously ill and one night they called an ambulance because they could no longer cope,” Constantinou said in a social media post.

But when they were taken to the Nicosia general hospital, the doctor on duty, according to Constantinou, told them there was nothing wrong with them and they should call their children to take them home.

After refusing to go, the doctor told them there was no ambulance to take them home and they would have to wait hours for one to become available.

Constantinou said that the nursing staff at the hospital were very polite.

It was not until that doctor’s shift ended that the elderly couple were examined by his replacement who had just come on duty.

“He told them that not only could they not go home but that he would send them urgently to the reference hospital (in Famagusta),” Constantinou said. He added after they were taken to the reference hospital, his uncle was intubated. “A few days later my aunt managed to win the battle and was discharged. My uncle stayed on (oxygen) support until the end.”

He added that the elderly should not be condemned to death, nor are a burden to society. “They are the ones who built the country we have now ruined. And they built it with great struggle and sacrifice,” Constantinou said.

Okypy spokesman Charalambos Charilaou told the Cyprus Mail they would investigate the case.



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