Increased measures to contain the spread of coronavirus that are in force in Limassol and Paphos Districts need to ease, says Dr. Petros Karayiannis, a member of the scientific team and professor of microbiology and molecular virology at the Medical School of the University of Cyprus. The scientific team is set to discuss the country’s epidemiological situation during a meeting on Wednesday, under the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, at the Presidential Palace.
On Tuesday evening, the scientific team will also meet via video conference to discuss the situation and the measures that is going to propose at the meeting with the President.
Asked what to expect from Wednesday’s meeting, Dr. Karayiannis said that “the intention is to ease measures during the Christmas period, in order to allow the market to function.”
He clarified, however, that the present situation does not allow for such a decision, which, he said, is “difficult” to take. The situation is becoming more stable, but there are fears that this may be overturned if restrictions are eased, he went on.
“At least in Paphos, there is no excuse for existing measures. In Limassol there might be some easing. The rest of the Districts are precarious” he underlined.
The high number of tests that are being conducted, almost three times as much compared to 2 to 3 weeks ago, led to this stabilization, he said, noting that more tests yield the same number of confirmed cases.
“We are on the right track, but this does not mean that we should put our mind at ease and allow things to relax excessively. We need to think about whether we should ease restrictions, which restrictions to ease and then slowly move step by step, so that the easing is not abrupt” he added.
In Nicosia, the situation with the number of cases per capita is “satisfactory” Dr. Karayiannis went on, but said that some chains of infection are aggravating the situation.
As for the situation in nursing homes, the professor expressed concern and spoke of a worrisome situation, affecting elderly people with a medical history, whose lives are more likely to be put at risk in case of an infection. There are already some people from this group who died and therefore, regular laboratory tests must be conducted, both on the staff and among residents, Dr Karayiannis noted.
Asked about what to expect during the Christmas period, he said that everything will depend on the epidemiological situation at that time. People should not expect to congregate as in the past, he said. He also noted that in his opinion, measures should relax a bit during Christmas.
The professor said finally that vaccinations will start once the first batches arrive. If vaccines get licensed, there will be high demand and Cyprus will receive its share, he said and expressed hope that vaccinations could start by the end of January.