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Coronavirus: Alarm as admissions stretch hospitals to their limit (Updated)

intensive care unit at sotiria hospital in athens

Health professionals are struggling to cope as the number of admissions of patients with coronavirus continues to surge.

The daily number of Covid patients is around 280 which is very high. With the number of positive cases rising daily, hospitals are bracing for more admissions.

State hospitals are also now treating around 700 non-Covid patients.

Dr Andreas Costi, head of the Limassol hospital’s Covid ward told state broadcaster CyBC the situation was “borderline”.

He said in recent days patients have been left waiting 10 to 13 hours, often in ambulances if they need oxygen or in the short term ward.

The admissions of Covid-19 patients have taken a toll for non-Covid patients, he said.

According to Costi, the hospital is full with only one bed kept for emergency while they are waiting to send patients to other towns subject to availability of ambulances and beds elsewhere.

“This is the situation daily,” he said.

With no timeframe as to when the number of cases is expected to start coming down, resources are over-stretched.

If necessary, a fourth Covid ward will be opened at Limassol hospital, but this would require sending non-Covid patients to other medical facilities.

State health services organisation (Okypy) said later in the day that it would reinforce Limassol hospital with more beds and more doctors for the Covid clinic.

It said that in recent days, there has been an increased arrival of patients at the Limassol hospital’s short-term ward for evaluation.

“More beds have been secured in this area, so that screening and evaluation can be completed in a shorter period of time.”

It added that its operational plan for the pandemic, that provides for securing around 400 beds in common wards and 65 beds in ICUs, is updated daily to meet the ever-changing conditions and increased needs. The median age of hospitalised Covid patients is 59.6 years and the average time spent in common wards is six days.

Spokesman of Okypy Charalambos Charilaou, told CyBC that they were working to secure more beds, but the issue is not finding new beds, rather seeing a decrease in case numbers.

More cases, consequently means more hospital admissions, he said. He explained that 5.4 per cent of diagnosed cases usually need hospital treatment while 10.2 per cent of those admitted will end in the intensive care unit.

Charilaou also made a plea to Covid patients not to wait until the last moment if they experience problems and to call for help. He urged them to be in regular contact with their family physician (GP), who knows their overall health condition, and who can advise them on what to do.

 

 

 

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