The intensive care unit of the Nicosia State Hospital’s Chest Clinic has been forced to close after three nurses tested positive for Covid-19 and 19 nurses who were in contact with them were quarantined.
The shortage of nurses means that the general intensive care unit is understaffed and staff are working double shifts.
Saying that his colleagues were exhausted, Nurses and Midwives Union President İbrahim Özgöçmen said that staff had acted with great self-sacrifice.
Özgöçmen also blamed poor management for the staffing problems. He said that management had ignored complaints that conditions in the Chest Clinic’s intensive care unit were unsuitable and that there were no ventilation systems. He warned that there could be more cases of coronavirus infection if these issues were not addressed.
Özgöçmen stated that if the intensive care unit is opened before the appropriate conditions are met, the members of the union will not work there. Özgöçmen said, “The General Intensive Care has decreased to five bed capacity for now, because there are only nine nursing colleagues remaining and they are all trying to run the service by working double shifts every day“.
Explaining that the nurses who work in the intensive care service use different equipment, Özgöçmen pointed out that the intensive care services, due to this deficiency, will not be able to reach a fully efficient working level any time soon.
The nurses’ union leader said “We said we should not touch the general intensive care nurses, everyone should work in their own department, but no one listened. Currently, intensive care nurses have been sent to the quarantine service. It would be a great relief if these nurses went back to their own department.
“My nursing colleagues and staff who can adapt and work in the pandemic department in a short time can be found easily, but there are no personnel who can adapt to the intensive care unit within a day or two. The deficiency here should be corrected as soon as possible. ”