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Coronavirus: Advisory committee discussing ban on non-essential movement

The committee charged with advising the Health Ministry on the coronavirus outbreak is discussing a ban on non-essential movement in Cyprus for a specific period, a University of Cyprus medical school professor  told the Cyprus News Agency.

Committee member Dr Irene Christaki said that the committee has and will continue to discuss the issue and its recommendations will be conveyed to  the Minister.

There have been calls from the Cyprus Medical Association on President Nicos Anastasiades to prohibit people moving around except if necessary in order to break the chain of transmission of Covid-19. A petition has already been launched for the same purpose by a group of concerned citizens.

“We have been seeing an increase in confirmed cases which was expected, but let us not forget that this increase are people who contracted the virus two weeks ago, therefore we cannot immediately see the impact of the measures adopted a week ago,” she told CNA.

The possibility of recommending a lockdown is being discussed because there are reports of people not complying and it may be necessary to take tougher measures in the next few days, she said.

“Even countries that have prohibited movement like Italy and Spain are still seeing an increase in cases. In China they appear to bring results. Of course it also has to do with compliance, but these are not measures whose results we see immediately, in 10 days or two weeks and this we can see from the experience of Italy and Spain,” she said.

Increase in cases
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Dr Christaki said that Cyprus will continue to see an increase in cases because contacts are still being traced and there are also cases of arriving travellers who had self-isolated and the two week period during which they may exhibit symptoms has not passed.

“Therefore there may be more cases both from contacts and from those who have travelled,” she added.

“We should not forget that because there are some cases which do not have a connection with a confirmed case or other epidemiological history, we consider that at this moment there is a dispersion  in the community,” she concluded.

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