Epidemiologist Maria Koliou, member of the health ministry’s scientific committee, did not rule out that the new variant of Covid-19 that, first discovered in the UK in September, is circulating in the community.
‘It’s possible, as it was circulating in the UK since September, and the British had not been aware of it’.
The existence of the new variant in Cyprus, will be confirmed or refuted in the next few days, following evaluation of positive cases by the Institute of Neurology and Genetics, in coordination with the health ministry.
Koliou stressed that more drastic action after January 10, will depend on the number of cases in hospitals and particularly Intensive Care Units, determining pressures on the health system.
At the moment, Koliou said, the situation is manageable.
She wasn’t particularly concerned by the new variant as it doesn’t worsen the illness, in spite of the increased transmissibility, estimated at 70%.
According to all the reports, she added, the new covid-19 vaccines ordered, cover the new variant too.
On the vaccine protection, (which might also mean being asymptomatic or going through the disease mildly) Koliou noted that they offer immunity for at least six months but beyond that it will show in practice as there are no relevant studies to refer to.