If Cypriot citizens follow the necessary steps, they should not be afraid of a second coronavirus wave, even if that occurs in Europe, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Friday, adding that until a vaccine is found the danger of resurgence is real and should be averted.
Ioannou, who was addressing a press conference on the way Cyprus handled the pandemic, reiterated that citizens must remain vigilant and not become complacent, noting that the strategy of lifting restrictive measures depend to a great extent to citizens responsible behaviour, individual and collective responsibility.
Lifting restrictive measures creates a new environment, he said, in which everyone is urged to behave with caution, stressing that “the virus is not gone from society and until a vaccine is found everyone should take self-protection measures.”
“If we are all socially responsible and take self-protection measures” Ioannou said, “we don’t have to be worried about the coronavirus, whether by imported or local transmission.” “If we overlook them (the measures) then the danger is always there,” he added.
The Minister of Health also said that the pandemic’s cost was over 60 million in the sector of health, adding that the final cost has still not been calculated. He explained that this cost includes expenses for quarantine, the purchase of equipment, mobilizing doctors and other actions.
Referring to the danger of a second wave occurring, he said that experts’ opinions are divided, stressing that if Cypriots take the necessary measures they should not be afraid of a second wave, even if one occurs in Europe.
He also recalled that the scientific community in Cyprus and abroad has been stressing at every opportunity that a resurgence of the virus may take place in the coming months, adding that “we should not expect that we will stop having cases in Cyprus.”
There will be new cases, whether imported or by local transmission, he said, adding that the key factor is that if a second wave occurs “we are more prepared and we have a better knowledge of the virus.”
Asked whether mistakes were made, Ioannou said that in the beginning mistakes were observed which were then rectified, adding that “we must not forget that we were dealing with an unprecedented situation.”
Referring to the increase of the capacity of ICUs in Cyprus, he said it was achieved in record time and that it was much higher than the EU average.