The percentage of positive Covid-19 cases out of thousands of tests carried out in Cyprus on a daily basis is a source of concern for Assistant Professor of Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Cyprus Medical School and Chairwoman of the Special Committee of the Pancyprian Medical Association dealing with the coronavirus, Maria Koliou, who has told CNA that the positivity rate in Cyprus is slightly over the 4% threshold recommended by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
According to Koliou, who is also a member of the advisory team of experts on Covid-19, the positivity rate should drop under 4% in order to determine that the pandemic has been contained.
She believes that it is likely that there will be no relaxation of measures until December 14, pointing out that the greater picture as to what the situation is will be evident fifteen days after the last measures were introduced.
Referring to a the high number of positive cases reported yesterday, she said she is not particularly worried, because as she explained a testing drive is ongoing in order to locate as many positive cases as possible and to isolate them.
“Therefore, it is reasonable that there will be high number (of cases),” she noted.
What is of concern to her is the “higher percentage of the people testing positive.”
“The ECDC prefers that this percentage is under 4% and in Cyprus it is slightly higher. In the last two days it seems that we have exceeded slightly this threshold and certainly this is worrying in combination with an increase in hospital and ICU admissions,” she points out. “Our data is worrying,” she adds.
Replying to a question on the measures put in place by the government since the beginning of this week, Koliou expressed the view that a period of time needs to be allowed to pass, adding that after 15 days the picture will be clearer but “we may not see a huge change.”
The truth is, she noted, that right now we are witnessing the results of the previous 10 to 15 days.
If one takes into account that from the time a patient tests positive it takes about 5 to 6 days for his state of health to worsen and for him to be admitted, one would realise that a person admitted to hospital today has been ill for at least a week or more previously. Therefore, she added, right now we are not seeing the picture of today’s situation.
Replying to a question on the epidemiological picture Cyprus should have until December 14, she pointed out that “the most crucial point has to do with hospital admissions and the pressure under which the health system is.”
After that, she said, the positive cases index must stabilise or drop, ideally dropping under 3%.
Asked whether the vaccines will provide a final solution, Koliou agreed and pointed out that the vaccines announced so far appear to have very good results.
“I believe that a final solution will be given once the vaccine is used, provided off course that people are vaccinated,” she said.
She added that according to estimates “in order to have good outcomes about 70% of the population must be vaccinated.” Once 70% of the population is vaccinated, even if the virus is present in the community a protective shield will be in place and it will not cause the problems it causes today.