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Worry Grows on Cyprus About Rising COVID-19 ICU Cases

NICOSIA — Cyprus' roller coaster ride over COVID-19 has taken another bad turn, this time with increasing numbers of people needing to be put in hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) because their symptoms are so bad.

Haris Armeftis, Chairman of the Cyprus Respiratory Society told the Cyprus News Agency that, “The problem is what is going to happen if intubation needs rise further and what will happen after the holidays,” as summer ends.

With students returning to school in September that adds to the gravity of the situation on the island that has sputtered luring tourists, who are the biggest revenue engine for the economy.

he told the Cyprus News Agency.

Armeftis said health officials expect numbers will jump in September as people have been traveling about during the summer and gathering despite health measures that they shouldn't. 

expressed concern Tuesday over the high number of Covid patients in intensive care (ICU) and the possibility of the situation worsening with the schools 

Armeftis suggested the health system has gone over its limits with ICUs and high dependency units almost reaching capacity. “Certainly, we are concerned about September,” he said of the schools reopening.

There's been a rise in vaccinations but while health advisories said it takes two weeks after a second shot of most versions, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson from the United States before full protection, he said it takes longer.

“We think that someone who gets vaccinated today needs around 45 days to develop immunity that will protect them substantially,” he said, as the country is also dealing with the highly contagious Delta Variant from India.

That can even infect fully vaccinated people although they have more safeguards against being critically ill or perishing, although a fully vaccinated dentist in Greece, 70 years old with no underlying symptoms, died from the Coronavirus.

“Our only hope is for the vaccinations to put a halt on it but let us not forget that to be able to feel some safety with the Delta variant, you want double vaccinations to exceed 82 percent,” of the population, he said.

Cyprus has fully vaccinated around 70 percent of its adult population – said to be the benchmark for slowing the pandemic – while 76 percent have received at least one dose so far.

He said there's not enough qualified staff in ICUs to deal with the number of cases that require constant attention and care.

“Unfortunately, if someone or a relative do not go through this they cannot understand what we are saying, and they think we are dramatizing things. You cannot not worry when you see human lives at risk, when you see human lives lost that could have been saved if they had received the vaccine,” he said.

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