A patient was left naked and uncovered on her bed at the Limassol general hospital last week, a geriatrician reported on Monday.

But state health services organisation (Okypy) is saying “it is not how it looks” as an investigation was launched into the incident.

The photo of the woman caused a social media uproar with over a hundred comments and shares in just a few hours after it was posted by Dr Marios Kyriazis on Facebook.

“We should all be ashamed,” the doctor said, referring to “the Shame of the State”.

He then called on the new president, Nikos Christodoulides to prioritise vulnerable patients.

“I don’t care if someone is punished, but I don’t accept that the patient is punished,” Kyriazis said, explaining that he does not know who is at fault in this case.

If you zoom in the photo, he said, you will see that this patient is holding the bed rail tightly with her right hand, to the point where her fingers are white from the grip. “This shows how desperate a state she was in, and how much she was suffering.”

Commentators denounced the incident with some saying they had “personal experience” with similar issues.

“I have direct experience of such an incident and unfortunately, I could not do anything about it. I’m glad this photo came out on the internet because it brings to the surface the issue that is plaguing and literally killing a lot of people.

“It’s a shame, a shame, and unfair!” a psychotherapist wrote.

However, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said this was an isolated incident and has requested for it to be investigated as soon as he was informed. “If some people have to be suspended they will be. We have done so in the past in cases where it was deemed appropriate,” he said.

The minister added that over the weekend there are serious incidents which hospitals handle with difficulty.

Confirming that the incident will be investigated, the spokesman of state health services organisation (Okypy) Charalambos Charilaou said that from the first briefing they have “it seems that things are not as they are presented.”

“Some people have tried to nullify the whole work of nurses,” Charilaou added.

“The statements accompanying the photograph are completely misleading and inaccurate, according to the first information we received,” Okypy said in a statement published later in the day.

The organisation further noted that the picture was taken without the consent of the patient or her relatives and constitutes a “gross violation of her human rights”. Thus, its republication is “not in the patient’s best interests”.

It added that it will not contribute in any way to the violation of principles and this is why it will not engage in a public dialogue in relation to the health situation of this patient.