“We can’t cope” with second wave

  Jul 6, 2020 10:16 am Ibrar Younas 1552
A LEADING medical union has warned that the country is ill equipped to deal with a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 – warning the country doesn’t have enough testing kits, oxygen cylinders, swabs or personnel.

“We can’t cope” with second wave

Cyprus Turkish Medical Union chairman Özlem Gürkut made a statement on her social media account where she pointed to problems at the Lefkoşa State hospital.

She said that the “number of beds at the Intensive Care Unit is insufficient,” adding: “According to February 27, 2020. . .the total number of beds is fewer than what they were. The number of beds at the ICU remains unchanged. The beds, far from being sufficient and an extra number of beds for a pandemic. . .they aren’t even enough for existing heart disease patients, traffic accidents, those who have undergone surgery and who are in need of ICU care. Those who were in need of such care were transferred to other hospitals.”

Criticising the government for “not laying the foundations for the construction of a pandemic hospital” despite a promise to have built one during the outbreak on the grounds of the Lefkoşa State hospital, Mrs Gürkut added that “ventilators that had been donated by other establishments and the UNDP have been stored away.”

 She said there would need to be 20 more nurses employed in the inpatient service that had been converted to a Covid-19 test centre, but at present, there wasn’t enough personnel. 

She also complained that a digital and technological observation programme to help health officials follow the movements of people who had entered the country, was not ready. “We don’t have an epidemiologic report since mid April.”

She said “Those who had no money who became ill waited at home and their health deteriorated,” due to Covid-19. “Doctors and nurses working in the dialysis, cardiology, neurology and chest diseases departments were assigned to the Covid department – forcing some services to be closed down during the outbreak. Messages were put out for patients not to come to hospital unless absolutely necessary.”

“When one corridor of the hospital was for Covid-19 patients, and the neighbouring a corridor for non Covid-19 patients – there was concern of patients in even going to the hospital.”

She asked whether it was acceptable for “the same tomography machine to be used for Covid-19 patient, followed straight after by a cancer patient. “And what will happen if the tomography machine breaks down?” she asked. “Last time, we had to wait four weeks for the tomography machine to be repaired,” she said.