The first phase of the new haemodialysis unit at Famagusta general hospital will be completed by the end of the year, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said on Tuesday.

“Some of the equipment has arrived and some is expected by the end of the month,” he told reporters during a visit to the hospital.

Haemodialysis patients have long complained about Famagusta hospital, saying it is understaffed, with poor management, as a number of people needed to go to other cities for treatment.

The minister said he had been briefed over the progress of construction and the goal is for the first phase to be ready by the end of the year. He added the unit will have all the necessary equipment to accommodate all patients.

Commenting on the bird flu cases in the area of the hospital, Hadjipantela said a meeting is set to take place this week to discuss the matter. The minister will have a full briefing on the steps the veterinary services are taking and decide if new measures are needed.

Replying to a question about the increase in Covid cases he said that there is indeed a rise in cases and hospitalizations in the last few days adding that before Christmas he will hold a meeting with the scientific advisory committee.

Amalia Hadjiyianni, scientific director of the Larnaca – Famagusta Hospitals, said that right now they are treating 19 patients with Covid and two are in the ICU.