Key elements of Cyprus’ healthcare system have been upgraded and bolstered during the pandemic, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said on Wednesday, adding that a crisis can offer an opportunity for improvement.
Speaking at the ‘Health in the Era of the Pandemic’ conference, the minister said that lessons were learned across the board – such as within the epidemiological unit which had never faced a severe pandemic.
Most notable however was the announcement that a specialised clinic for post-Covid patients will start operating within days, where both physical and mental health care will be available.
“It is estimated that there are 30,000 post-Covid [patients]… who require support on many fronts,” he said.
On a similar note, the minister stated that a study is set to launch in the coming weeks to investigate the psychological impact on those who have had Covid-19.
The investigation will be led by professor Constantinos Phellas, senior vice rector at the University of Nicosia and a member of the scientific advisory committee.
One stated aim of the study is to see what type of further assistance post-Covid patients may require.
The health minister was also upbeat on the therapies front, saying that Cyprus is part of a group of EU countries collaborating with the EU commission to procure medicines to treat against Covid-19.
Hadjipantelas also had high praise for the vaccination campaign, saying that “the numbers speak for themselves” as ten months into the programme 78 per cent are fully vaccinated.
This has led, he said, to the stabilisation of daily infections and a reduced number of patients requiring treatment.
The health minister did however say that “we went through a particularly difficult summer with intense pressure on the hospitals… the record number of deaths in August, many of which would have been prevented if the people who passed away were vaccinated.”
Two weeks ago, the health ministry’s epidemiological report detailed that August was the deadliest month since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Covid-19 deaths in August increased 102 per cent over July with 93 fatalities reported, surpassing the previous high of December and January, which each saw 86 deaths.
The three months constitute 42 per cent of the total number of Covid-19 deaths, at the time of the report, with 544 fatalities, and are followed by April with 66 deaths, May with 58 and July with 46.