The 4-year-old girl intubated at Makarios hospital for strep A is to be transferred to Israel on Wednesday evening in “one of the health ministry’s biggest ever operations”.

Christina Yiannaki, permanent secretary of the health ministry, said on Wednesday evening that a team of doctors from the Telasomer University Hospital in Israel had arrived to help ensure a smooth transfer, after a short delay.

The transfer operation will last about four hours and will be facilitated with specialised equipment brought by the Israeli team, which is headed by the assistant director of the university.

The patient will be accompanied by a large staff of doctors, a paediatric surgeon and a nurse, both of whom are specialised in the use of the extracorporeal circulation machine, and a technician.

Yiannaki explained that the father is expected to travel alongside his daughter to Israel in the air ambulance.

“I hope and wish from the bottom of my heart, conveying the wishes of the Minister, that everything will go according to plan”, she said.

Wednesday’s developments come after previous assessments had indicated that the girl was too ill to be transferred.

Earlier in the day, the health minister said that: “The latest update I have been given is that the child remains in a serious condition, which is critical.”

Doctors on Tuesday said the girl was too ill to be transferred to Israel after the doctor came the previous day to assess her condition.

Yiannaki explained that a medical council reviewed the situation at 7am and took its decision soon after.

Assistant professor of paediatrics and infectious diseases at the University of Cyprus Maria Koliou told Alpha that it’s possible Israel may have a piece of equipment not available in Cyprus.

“We have excellent units and professionals here… but perhaps they have a machine which we don’t have in our units as perhaps we only have one such case every six years,” she said.

Meanwhile head of the Paediatric Society Michalis Anastasiades called on parents to make themselves aware of the symptoms of strep A, adding that it is not the first time it has been seen in Cyprus.