Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou urged on Wednesday all citizens to remain vigilant, despite the good epidemiological picture in Cyprus.
Speaking at a press conference on the occasion of two years since the establishment of the National Heath System (GeSY) the Minister said that there is concern about the new coronavirus variants and stressed the need for building a wall of immunity.
Asked if the detection of cases with the Indian variant are a cause for concern, Ioannou noted that authorities proceed with contact tracing to find out where those cases came from and pointed out the importance of tests for the timely detection of cases.
“We are concerned about variants but we have been expecting that,” the Minister noted.
The measures we take, he said, allow us to build a wall of immunity with vaccinations.
“That is why we urge people to make their appointments for vaccination because it is the only way to protect ourselves specifically from mutations”, he added.
Asked if spectators will be allowed at football matches, the Minister said that if the epidemiological data continue to be positive, then fans will be allowed, but with some restrictions.
The Minister said that there is a positive climate following the good epidemiological picture, but he expressed concern saying that there should not be complacency, since this leads to less compliance with health protection measures.
He called upon citizens to continue taking health protection measures and complete their vaccination scheme.
Replying to questions, he said that Cyprus has ordered 4 million doses of vaccines, adding that any unused ones will be returned to the EU which will donate them to third countries that need them.
Asked about the thromboembolic episodes whose connection with the AstraZeneca vaccine is being investigated, Ioannou recalled that there is a recommendation by the Ministry to people under the age of 50 to prefer mRNA technology vaccines, and said that the European Medicines Agency is investigating the possibility that thrombosis cases are linked with vaccination, while a similar investigation is being carried out by the company itself.
He added that the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency, was that there should be no age limit.
“Many countries, such as Germany, do not have an age restriction, or even if they have it is for other age groups”, he concluded.