Petros Karayiannis, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the Medical School of the University of Cyprus and member of the scientific committee advising the government on the handling of the pandemic expressed concerns over the high number of Covid-19 infections recorded daily in Cyprus, noting that the authorities should consider additional options should the current measures fail to yield results.
“Yesterday’s number of cases was quite high and is a cause of concern,” Karayiannis told CNA.
Noting that the number of coronavirus cases announced yesterday may be because a high number of samples were not processed due to the weekend and were processed yesterday, Karayiannis expressed hope that this high number will not be repeated in the next couple of days. “Otherwise this would mean that we have a rise instead of a reduction,” he said.
Alarmed by the high numbers of infections in the last month, the Cypriot authorities announced new measures including an island-wide curfew starting from 21:00 until 05:00 local time, restrictions in restaurants, cafeterias, shopping malls and gatherings. The new measures will be in place until December 13.
“We need to give some more time for the measures to yield results. If not, the (Health) Minister said we will consider what to do,” Karayiannis said, adding that improvements were recorded in Limassol and Pafos where a partial local lockdown was enforced until the end of November.
“If the horizontal measures enforced throughout the island fail to yield results to the same degree second thoughts should be made,” he added.
Furthermore, invited to comment on the rising trend in Covid-19 infections in the areas of Famagusta and Nicosia, Karayiannis said “it seems people are not protecting themselves in their encounters.”
Karayiannis also said he is concerned over the increased movement in shops in view of the Christmas holiday. “I hope people will be careful otherwise we will have further spikes,” he warned.
He also pointed out that people should be particularly careful as winter conditions favour the spread of the disease, noting that crowded closed spaces are the best way to increase the disease transmission.
“And when we don’t apply protective measures in closed spaces, mainly by wearing masks, then we all exposed and infected,” Karayiannis added.