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Coronavirus: if cases don’t fall by December 13, there could be ‘second thoughts’ on rollback, expert says

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Photo: CNA

The record number of 318 coronavirus cases recorded on Tuesday was they included samples taken over the weekend, an expert said on Wednesday while expressing concerns at the same time on the rise in cases observed lately.

According to member of the advisory committee on coronavirus, professor of microbiology/molecular virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, Petros Karayiannis, the number recorded on Tuesday was quite high.

“I think this was also due to the fact that some (samples) that were collected over the weekend were processed yesterday. I hope this will not be repeated today and tomorrow because if it is, it means that instead of seeing a decrease, we see a rise,” Karayiannis told the Cyprus News Agency.

Karayiannis stressed the importance of people following all self-protection measures citing the cold weather and crowded closed spaces. The use of the mask indoors is the best protection, he said.

He warned that if the measures in place until December 13 do not pay off there would be “second thoughts” about a partial rollback as initially planned.

“We have to give them [the measures] some time to work. If they do not work, the minister himself said that we should reconsider what to do. On the other hand, we are seeing an improvement in the situation this week in Limassol and Paphos, which seems to be a result of the measures taken in previous weeks. So, we see the positive impact at the moment,” he added.

On whether there will be relaxations during the holidays, Karayiannis said that no one could predict that at the moment. “We have three weeks until then. I hope our epidemiological picture is such that it will allow it.”
On the growing number of cases in the ​​Famagusta and Nicosia districts, Karayiannis said it seems people continue not to protect themselves whether it is within the family, their workplace or when out and about.

The biggest concern, however, he said, is the traffic that will occur during the Christmas shopping period.

“I hope people are very careful otherwise we will have further outbreaks,” he said.

Asked if a local lockdown will be imposed in Famagusta due to the rising trend observed Karayiannis said this decision lies with the health minister who is also responsible for issuing decrees.

Based on the date of the latest national epidemiological report, Famagusta has surpassed Limassol as regards the percentage of coronavirus cases per its population, with experts calling for vigilance.

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