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Coronavirus: scientific adviser suggests people form bubbles

One of the government’s health experts on handling the coronavirus, suggested on Saturday that people create social bubbles so as to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, assistant professor of internal medicine, infection prevention and control at the European University said people should limit their social interactions to people that belong to this bubble.

This could include family members, people they live with, colleagues at work or clients they have to regularly deal with and people that they regularly interact with.

“If a large amount of the population creates social bubbles, then we limit the spread of the virus, while contact tracing will be much easier.”

Tsioutis suggested people stick to this circle of people as much as possible and not interact with people outside of the bubble for a period of time.

This model could work in Cyprus he said, because there is limited exposure to crowded indoor spaces, close family ties, small distances, small networks, limited areas with superspreading conditions and limited use of public transport.

“Let’s all try to have a specific number of people from 10 to 20 that we have close contact with.”

Keeping these people in our social bubble “limits the risk of us getting the virus from someone else and at the same time, if we have the virus, we limit the chance of spreading it to a large number of people.”

The wider someone’s social circle due to their family, work and daily interactions, then their interaction with other people increases the likelihood of spreading or getting the virus, he added.

Tsioutis said that this idea would not be feasible for people working in customer service for instance, people who travel or those working in places with many employees.

Some countries have proposed the social circle should comprise of no more than 10 people. Other countries have had even fewer but this depends on the individual and the epidemiological situation of the country.

He stressed the need to implement individual safety measures, adding that the use of a mask is complementary because it does not replace the measures that need to continue being implemented.

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