The operation on a three-year-old boy who was transferred to Athens with serious heart disease was postponed because he was diagnosed with viral pneumonia, the health ministry has told the Cyprus Mail.

“There are daily updates for his conditions from the hospital,” health ministry spokesman Constantinos Athanasiou told the Cyprus Mail.

He confirmed the child was diagnosed with viral pneumonia and was treated in the ICU of the Mitera paediatric clinic by Dr Giorgos Sarris.

The toddler was flown to Greece on Friday after being denied treatment in Germany and other countries because his parents were unvaccinated.

“The response of the clinic in Germany was shocking to us because our son was born there, we spent two years with various heart operations and they are well aware of his health condition.

“We never expected this and we were never warned in advance about vaccination as a requirement,” the father of the toddler had told AlphaNews.Live.

The health ministry’s efforts for the boy to receive treatment in Israel and other European countries also failed as most hospitals had a vaccine mandate.

Both parents proceeded with a first dose of a two-dose vaccine regimen on Thursday but there were concerns that they would have to wait another three weeks for their second dose to be eligible.

The father said the Germany-based hospital had recommended the specific vaccine, after the health ministry told media they had recommended the single-dose Janssen.

Following the ordeal, he said the family was “tired but relieved”.

“We have hope that now, here in Athens, they will help us,” he added.

Prior to his transfer, the child’s condition was stable, according to the head of the Makarios hospital’s paediatrics clinic Dr Avraam Elia, where the child was hospitalised in Nicosia.