Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou is stable but remains in critical condition as she receives urgent treatment in Greece on Tuesday, while President Nicos Anastasiades praised her hard work and dedication.
Speaking at the presidential palace, Anastasiades said he was shaken by the minister’s health problem, as he wished 67-year-old Emilianidou a swift recovery.
“From the depths of my soul I wish for her to be with us swiftly.”
Anastasiades said that he had regular updates from the health minister who was in Athens with Emilianidou, at the president’s instructions.
Describing her as one of his closest and most effective associates since he took office, Anastasiades said Emilianidou was creative, effective and totally dedicated to her work.
The minister underwent lengthy surgery in Athens to treat a cerebral aneurysm. She was transported to Greece in an emergency ambulance airlift on Sunday night.
Health ministry permanent secretary Christina Giannaki said she spoke to the surgeons at 6:30am on Tuesday where she was informed that Emilianidou is in a critical but stable condition.
Further updates on the minister’s condition are expected at about 3pm.
The health ministry said that on Sunday night the minister was suffering from severe headaches and was taken immediately to a private clinic where her condition was diagnosed.
“After coordinated efforts by the minister of health and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms Emilianidou was transported urgently by air-ambulance to a specialised medical centre in Greece… ” the ministry said. Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas travelled to Athens with her.
Reports later in the morning said Emilianidou had initially been rushed to the American Medical Centre in Nicosia whose director Marinos Sotiriou told Cyprus Times that when she left for Athens on a special flight the minister was still conscious.
He said she had been plagued by headaches from Sunday afternoon and was diagnosed with an aneurysm leading to some bleeding on the brain.
“When she left us, she was awake and okay,” he said. “Then her condition worsened during the transport, and she fell into a coma. We do not know how much bleeding she had [by then],” he told the Cyprus Times.
Asked why the surgery was being performed in Athens and not in Cyprus, he said her condition required a specialist doctor and there was none available on the island.
Emilianidou, who has served as labour minister since April 2013 as an independent, was to give a joint news conference on Monday with President Nicos Anastasiades on the welfare state. It did not go ahead without her.