Famagusta hospital, the island’s reference hospital for coronavirus, is 93 per cent full as infections continue to surge, its director Amalia Hadjiyianni told the Cyprus News Agency on Thursday.
She said there were currently 42 patients at the hospital – seven of them in the high dependency unit. The youngest patient is aged 22 and the oldest 97, neither of them vaccinated. There are no Omicron variant cases in the facility, she added.
So far, the hospital has not admitted any patients who have received a booster jab, though there have been cases of patients who had received both vaccines some time ago, their immunity has fallen and should do the third jab, she added.
The average age of Covid patients at Famagusta Hospital is 66. Overall, 80 per cent of the patients are not vaccinated, similar to islandwide Covid hospitalisations where 77 per cent of the 157 patients have no vaccination history.
Hadjiyianni, who is also scientific director of Larnaca hospital where authorities on Tuesday reopened a Covid ward, said that there are currently 15 coronavirus patients there, while 72 people are isolating at the Eden Rehabilitation Centre where they will remain until they test negative.
Hadjiyianni said some patients irrespective of age at Famagusta hospital have serious symptoms and may require treatment in the high dependency unit, while a few may need to be intubated and transferred to an ICU.
On average in the past few days, one or two patients are intubated every day, usually on the sixth or seventh day after admission.
“A margin of a few days is given to admitted patients to retain good oxygen levels with non-invasive methods. But when physiotherapy of the respiratory system, pharmaceutical treatment and non-invasive ventilation are not effective and a patient’s oxygenation is low, then intubation is the only way out,” she said.
According to Hadjiyianni, about 20 per cent of patients do not notify their doctors of their symptoms early, believing they will be able to recover at home, leading to a delay in their admission to hospital for treatment. She urged those with symptoms to notify their personal doctor immediately for guidance, so that treatment can start straight away and the worst – intubation – averted.
Should patients have any problem with their personal doctor, they should go to the A&E of the hospitals where they will be given medication.
“However, a lot of people who are ill believe they can deal with the symptoms painlessly at home, speculating that these are mild, and as a result delay asking hospitals for help,” she said.
These 20 per cent of patients have the highest risk of being intubated as the disease has progressed. Treatment may not be enough to reverse their condition, she warned.
Hadjiyianni also cautioned fully vaccinated individuals that they should still adhere to personal protection measures.