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Coronavirus: Situation improving, but August 15 holidays a ‘big test’

Although the epidemiological situation as regards the coronavirus outbreak is improving, much will depend on the outcome of the August 15 holiday, the results of which will be known in a few days, one of the experts advising the government on Covid-19 said on Monday.

Petros Karayiannis, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the medical school of the University of Nicosia, is part of the team which on Wednesday will review the coronavirus outbreak during a tele-conference with the Health Minister.

“Our epidemiological picture is improving therefore we will weigh things and we will see,” he told the Cyprus News Agency. Asked whether new decisions were expected, he said should something arise this will be announced by the minister.

Cyprus yesterday announced seven new coronavirus cases, the first time the number has fallen below double digits in six days.  This brought the total recorded in the government-controlled areas to 1339.

What was important was the epidemiological data that will emerge after the August 15 holidays. Should these be ‘painless’, then Cyprus need keep a close eye on developments so that the situation ‘does not veer out of control again’, he said.

People have understood the importance of adhering to the measures to avoiding mass gatherings, Karayiannis said, adding that he hoped that younger people also recognize the importance of compliance.

Asked about the possibility of local lockdowns, Karayiannis said that governments cannot introduce horizontal lockdowns along the lines of those imposed in March and April as this would be catastrophic to countries’ economies.

Lessons have been learned from managing the first wave in terms of preparing hospitals and training staff while the public has learned how to react when there is a spike, as was the case in Limassol, he added.

Local lockdowns have been enforced in other countries, such as in Poros in Greece, the Barcelona area in Spain, Leicester in England, and areas in Germany.

This is the way to act, focusing on the areas where there is a problem and averting the virus from spreading more widely, he concluded.

 

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