Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cyprus has been following WHO recommendations, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge has said replying to a CNA question, expressing also his support of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ statement that it is important to adhere to national guidelines.
Kluge, who was addressing a weekly online press conference on the pandemic’s situation in the region, sent a message to governments that once community transmission is under control to find ways to reintroduce other health services safely and quickly and to parents to ensure their children are vaccinated. Immunization, he said, is one of the most effective tools we have protecting children. He referred to the resurgence of measles in the European region in recent years and said the disease has affected over 6,000 people in the first two months of this year in the region. “We cannot allow this situation to worsen,” he noted.
Replying to a CNA question on the measures taken in Cyprus, the WHO official said that “since the very beginning we have been in touch with the Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou and Cyprus has been following the WHO recommendations, now it is indeed gradually loosening up.”
First and foremost, he noted, “I would like to echo what the Minister Ioannou has said, that we have to live with the coronavirus for a while. This is a very wise statement, which means that the easing of restrictions has to go gradually like Cyprus is taking forward.”
“I also acknowledge that the tourism sector for Cyprus and for many other countries in Europe is very important and again as I was saying it is a balanced approach between protecting the health of the population, social and economic considerations and wellbeing,” Kluge pointed out.
Also, he noted, “I would like to support what President Anastasiades was saying that it is important to adhere to the national guidelines.2
Replying to a question about mass testing done in Cyprus, he said that “if it comes to the testing, priority goes to the symptomatic cases.”
“If there is a capacity to go beyond then definitely we applaud this and appreciate it because ultimately it is not about stopping the chain of transmission, but cutting the chain of the transmission particularly in the absence of a vaccine or a treatment,” he stressed.
The important thing here, Kluge said, “is that it is not about testing only.”
“What we need is a comprehensive approach of the containment, the mitigation and giving the society really ownership and a voice,” he added.