Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in Cyprus’ public hospitals are full of COVID-19 cases and many of the non-covid cases are referred to the private sector, the Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipantelas and the Ministry's Permanent Secretary Christina Yiannaki pointed out, during their visit to the walk-in vaccination centre that opened on Thursday at the University of Cyprus.
Michalis Hadjipandelas particularly noted the problem with unvaccinated young people who have families with small children, who are currently in ICUs. He said that a 46 - year - old with four minor children, a 42 - year - old with two children and a 40 – year - old with four children are currently treated in ICUs.
"These people are struggling in the ICUs and at the same time their family is upset and they urge us to do something, so as not to lose them" he said.
Certainly, he added, the public hospitals are doing their utmost, but as he said “in order to avoid this situation, there is a way and it’s proven. Vaccination”.
He also noted that if these patients who are currently in the ICU had got vaccinated, they wouldn’t be there and that now their relatives wish they had been vaccinated so that do s they don’t have to go through this ordeal.
The Minister also said that many patients with other conditions which require treatment in the ICU were referred to private hospitals because the ICUs in state hospitals are running out of beds. He added that a new ICU with ten more beds will start operating soon at Nicosia’s General Hospital. He once more urged everyone to get the vaccine that will keep them out of the ICUs.
On her part, Christina Yiannaki said that they have referred around 236 patients to all hospitals and at the moment about 93 patients are in private hospitals and about 28 patients have been sent to the intensive care unit.
She added that they have been doing their utmost to help the patients, stressing however that it is not easy. She added that the ICUs in the private sector are also not unlimited.
At the same time, Yiannaki said that until Wednesday there 12,923 vaccinations were carried out in walk-in centres, while on Thursday the vaccinations in these centres will be approximately 6,200. She also recalled that on Friday 6th August, those who are not registered in GeSY can be vaccinated at the Walk-In centres. She also added that so far 981 children aged 12-15 had been vaccinated.
Visiting the vaccination center of the University of Cyprus, the Minister of Health expressed satisfaction that many young people and students were getting the vaccine and said that this is a bet they have won. At the same time, he said that he was going to discuss with the rector of the University how they would plan the new school year so that everyone could go back to university.
"We believe that universities without people in the halls are not Universities, so we will have a serious discussion with the Rector of the University after our visit today and we hope in cooperation with the Government and the Ministry of Education to make some decisions for the benefit of all involved," he added.
Asked if there are any thoughts for the new school and academic year in September, the Minister said that there are some thoughts which before being announced should be discussed in detail with the Minister of Education and the Cabinet that will take the appropriate decisions.
On his part, the Rector of the University Tassos Christofides said that after a decision of the Senate, the University will be operating with the physical presence of students for the new academic year.
"In order for this to happen without many problems, it is necessary for our people, our community to be vaccinated. It is in this context that the walk-in centre at the University operated today and I urge everyone to get vaccinated, let`s listen to science”, he said. He added that "when 90% or more of the patients are unvaccinated, I do not need any other proof of the effectiveness of the vaccination".
Finally, Christofides, pointed out that based on the decision of the Senate, the presentation of SafePass by staff and students coming to the University will be mandatory at the beginning of the new academic year.