Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School and member of the COVID-19 Scientific Team, Petros Karayannis, has warned that Cyprus is taking one step forward and two steps back as regards the pandemic, following the increase in the number of new coronavirus cases, which reached 314 on Saturday. Ninety-two of the people detected positive are working in a slaughterhouse in Nicosia district.
Karayiannis said that this cluster could be the biggest one until now, noting that they don`t know however which other clusters may be in Limassol and Paphos, where most of the cases are being detected now. He noted that apart from these 92 cases, 177 are domestic ones. Therefore the number of domestic cases is below 200, he added.
Moreover, he stressed the need for each business to have its own health and safety officer that will supervise the implementation of the measures aiming to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He also noted that employees should not gather in canteens or elsewhere during their breaks.
Asked if the next step would be to take more strict measures or a lockdown, if the number of cases does not fall, Karayiannis said that he considers that measures will gradually become stricter, instead of imposing a lockdown, unless the situation worsens drastically.
He stressed that people should abide by the measures, especially ahead of Christmas time. And even then we will have to limit our social contacts to close family members, he noted, adding that this will of course depend on the epidemiological outlook at that time.
Karayiannis expressed hope that current measures will bear fruit. “Perhaps they did begin to yield results but things went wrong once again. The number of cases yesterday shows that maybe we are taking one step forward and two back,” he added.
Cyprus authorities announced on Saturday the death of an 82 year old man with COVID-19, and that 314 new COVID-19 cases were detected. Ninety-two of the individuals who tested positive are working in a slaughterhouse, in Nicosia District.
Health Minister Ioannou said in a written statement that the detection of this cluster of cases shows that relevant health protocols are incorrectly applied and in several cases protection measures are violated.