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Coronavirus: health minister blames carnival party for new uptick in Limassol

Ioannou Christos
Constantinos Ioannou (File Photo: Christos Theodorides)

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Wednesday a recent rise in Covid-related hospital admissions was mainly due to the three-day carnival celebrations that took place in Limassol almost two weeks ago, which also featured a massive street party.

Speaking on state radio, Ioannou said there was a rise in admissions in the past three, four days, especially in ICUs, which appeared to be the result of the three days of carnival celebrations in Limassol.

“Almost all admissions are in Limassol,” the minister said.

On Tuesday, there were 222 people in hospital with 50 in serious or critical condition.

Twenty-three were intubated while five were being treated in ICU without intubation. The rest were in high dependency units.

Limassol general hospital was treating 60 patients, seven in the HDU.  Patients from Limassol are transferred to Famagusta and Nicosia when the costal city’s hospital reaches its capacity in Covid patients. The ICU at Nicosia general hospital is also the only one used for Covid patients.

The health minister reiterated that the government’s guide when deciding to either step up or ease measures was the situation in the hospitals.

“There is a limit and we must be very careful,” he said.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Limassol on Sunday March 14 in defiance of the health measures.

Initially parading in their vehicles in the afternoon, people then gathered at a square near the marina where a street party was held in the evening.

The gathering sparked public outrage, prompting President Nicos Anastasiades, a native of Limassol himself, to censure his fellow citizens and others who may have travelled there for the celebrations.

Anastasiades said Limassolians accounted for 70 per cent of hospitalisations across the island while 90 per cent of Covid deaths between March 1 and March 15 concerned people from the district.

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