Minister of Health Konstantinos Ioannou said Saturday that by mid to end of May, Cyprus will have developed a “wall of immunity” against COVID-19, through vaccinations which will allow government to lift any restrictions.
At the same time, he called on people to cooperate and to continue following personal protective measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Speaking after a visit at a rapid-test spot in Strovolos, Ioannou said that the Ministry’s strategy is based on three pillars, which are vaccinations, compliance with measures and many diagnostic tests. He also said that this week Cyprus expects around 60,000 vaccine doses.
Referring to Friday’s testing results where 705 new COVID-19 cases were detected island-wide, the Minister said that not only Friday’s but the whole week’s results were worrying and stressed that a necessary condition for keeping a good epidemiological situation was the maintenance of health protocols and personal protective measures. He added that any complacency or relaxation will worsen the epidemiological situation.
Ioannou said that during last week there was a 50% increase in positivity rate especially in rapid tests, from 0.4% to 0.6%, and added that this is worrying, although it was expected due to further relaxations that started three weeks ago.
Asked whether stricter measures would be taken as in many countries in Europe, Ioannou said that in most countries of Europe there’s a lockdown since last November and added that Cyprus is the last country that imposed lockdown and the first that lifted it.
“This is due to the cooperation of the people and our strategy with many and targeted tests, which was necessary especially due to the mutations and it is what maintains our epidemiological situation,” he said, adding that most countries in Europe are in a strict lockdowns.
Pointing out that “we are at the end”, the Minister said that he understands the fatigue of the people. However, as he said, by mid or end of May, we will have developed the wall of immunity through vaccinations, something that will allow us to lift any restrictions.