Most coronavirus patients admitted to Famagusta Hospital the past fortnight have required treatment for about seven to eight days, hospital chief Amalia Hadjiyianni has said.
“The past 15 days, most cases are hospitalised for seven to eight days if patients do not have very serious symptoms or other underlying conditions, and so they are discharged more quickly,” she said.
Amid a sudden surge of admissions, the public health organisation Okypy has reopened a Covid-19 ward at Larnaca Hospital, made arrangements for one to open at Paphos General and asked private hospitals to take non-coronavirus cases.
Indicatively, Hadjiyianni said that only weeks ago, the Famagusta Hospital saw the number of patients drop to 24, but the next day admissions doubled and within a few days, it was at 96 per cent capacity. The hospital can cater for 75 patients.
At 4 pm on Friday, there were 69 coronavirus patients at Famagusta Hospital, six of them in the increased care unit. None were from a care home. One patient was intubated overnight and transferred to the ICU at Nicosia General.
Asked whether she was concerned about the number of patients, she said the situation was worrying as all hospitals now treat Covid-19 patients. “This is why the so-called ‘cold’ operations have stopped while appointments for various other conditions have been postponed.”
In view of the increase in the number of coronavirus patients being admitted to public hospitals, the public should take all precautionary measures so as to help the national health system (Gesy) cope. “We should all faithfully adhere to the decrees of the health ministry so that each one of us helps maintain a balance in public hospitals,” she said.
The average age of patients at Famagusta Hospital the past two months is about 63. One or two older people either had not yet been vaccinated or the vaccine had not had the time to build up immunity.
Hadjiyianni said vaccinations were proceeding well and the positive results could be seen. However, younger people were being admitted to hospital. On Thursday, the youngest patient was 34, and there were patients also aged 53, 55, 59 and 62, she said.
Hospitals have also made arrangements to facilitate communication between patients and their families. “When patients need to talk to their families, they need to do so for their own psychological support,” she said.
Asked about staffing at the hospital, she said that numbers were adequate allowing personnel to work normal shifts.