All of Cyprus’ population should be tested in a span of seven days to avoid a complete lockdown as current measures in place don’t resolve the problem, Dr. George Panos, a member of the government epidemiological team said on Sunday.
Long-term measures are important until the vaccine is ready that can enable society to function without restrictions, Dr. Panos Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Cyprus Medical School and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases at the University of Patras School of Medicine said in an interview to the Cyprus News Agency.
Testing the entirety of Cyprus’ population, followed by a repeat test, can then lead to only those who test positive in having to isolate, thus avoiding a complete lockdown and allowing the economy to go on.
With this proposal, those who test negative can continue going to work and therefore strict measures can be avoided, he added.
Cyprus on Monday will have tougher measures in place, including a nationwide curfew between 9pm to 5am, with restaurants and cafeterias closing at 7pm.
Dr. Panos said his method could help deal with the issue in a short time span whereas current measures in place are not long-term and do not solve the issue.
“We have exhausted a list of a lot of things without having a strategic plan being implemented.”
Long-term measures can be put into force immediately up until the period when the vaccine will be ready.
“The method I suggest leads to a point where the majority of the population will be negative for the virus and will be able to get vaccinated. Checking elderly homes doesn’t mean we’re done.”
Medical staff, patients and people in elderly homes should be tested every week, along with people working in places such as banks, social services, supermarkets, pharmacies and schools.
“Test everyone and frequently, every week. “We need a sequence of affirmations that those who work in society and enter the community are negative,” he said.
Dr. Panos added everyone arriving to the Republic of Cyprus should be tested and there should be a ceiling on the prices of tests because “the cheaper they are, the easier it is for an average citizen to go get tested, without waiting for the government testing.”