Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Wednesday a lockdown “is a scenario that remains on the table” should the number of daily Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations increase in the coming weeks.
However, he clarified that the government wants to exhaust all other options before resorting to a new total lockdown.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency on Wednesday, Ioannou once more appealed to the public to respect the existing measures in place, saying the situation in hospitals is at a critical point.
“If we get to the point where we do not have enough beds, but cases continue to grow, we will lose control of the situation and doctors and nurses will be forced to choose who is worth saving and who is not,” Ioannou said.
The health ministry announced a record 941 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday. The total number of positives now amounts to 58,022.
“The record number of cases represents a worrying development, one that puts us all on high alert,” Ioannou said.
“We are very concerned because we might get to the point where we lose control of the situation and we risk seeing our loved ones fall ill or even lose the battle with the virus.”
The minister also urged people to book their vaccination slot as soon as possible.
“We are all witnessing how the average age among Covid-19 hospitalisations has decreased. This has happened because young people do not take the virus seriously and they fail to protect themselves properly,” he warned.
“What I am saying is that, now, our brothers, our boyfriends, our cousins, our children’s teachers are the ones who are being treated in hospitals. We need to be careful. We cannot risk losing more lives.”
He said the vaccination was the great weapon and getting vaccinated was a social responsibility.
Ioannou added that, until enough people are vaccinated, Cyprus will not reach a satisfactory immunity within the population.
“That is why it is still imperative to follow all rules and measures in place and restrict our outings and our contacts, as well as wearing a mask and follow simple personal hygiene guidelines, at home and at work.”
In terms of hospitals he said that in the event of an even larger number of daily cases in the next days, hospitals will be prepared to face the emergency situation.
“We are ready to quickly add 400 more beds for Covid-19 wards in hospitals throughout the country.”
The ministry is also closely cooperating with private hospitals, in order not to further burden state hospitals.
“We are fully prepared to face a potential emergency.”
The number of hospital admissions has been steadily rising in recent days with new record numbers recorded daily.
According to spokesman of Okypy (state health services organisation) Charalambos Charilaou, the daily number of patients is around 280 which is very high. With the number of positive cases rising daily, hospitals are bracing for more admissions.