Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday called the current situation of Covid-19 ‘satisfactory but fragile’.
In a press conference after speaking with the government’s team of experts on the developments of the virus, the minister warned that daily coronavirus cases might increase over winter.
He noted that the public is not following social distancing and safety measures and asked for full cooperation so the situation “does not get out of hand”.
“Following the increased daily cases, the fear of a setback is intensifying,” Ioannou said.
In many cases, the spread of the virus could have been avoided, Ioannou said, if people with symptoms had been tested on time, or those who tested positive reported all the people they came into contact with.
Dr Giorgos Nikolopoulos and member of the epidemiological team said that the large increase in daily cases in September was a resurgence of the virus and “ we have no clear picture of whether it will subside”.
“The important thing is that younger people were infected,” Nikolopoulos said, adding that this might mean that the virus will start spreading faster to younger age groups.
Regarding the safe operation of schools, epidemiologist Dr Zoi Dorothea Pana said “children are to a large extent asymptomatic carriers of the virus” and parents must be monitoring them with the help of their paediatrician.
In a cluster in Limassol, “half of the cases are underage children from four different schools” she said.
“Children might develop non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms,” Pana explained. She also highlighted the need for social distancing during their activities outside of school.
Cyprus keeps following the same strategy to avoid the spread of Covid-19, Ioannou said, which includes a large amount of testing, careful contact tracing and the observance of health protocols as well as informing the public.
“I appeal to everyone to be extremely careful,” Ioannou said and compared the pandemic to a marathon.
“It takes patience and perseverance from all of us, because there can very easily be a resurgence,” he said. According to the minister, the preventive measures will be in place until January.
The minister acknowledged that after eight months of dealing with the pandemic the public is exhausted but warned again that extra vigilance is necessary as winter approaches.
“At the same time, we are entering a period of increased seasonal infections” Ioannou said and reminded the public that vaccinations for the Type A flu vaccination are due to start from next Monday.
This year, the state ordered 135,000 vaccines against Type A flu, a 40 per cent increase over previous years.