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Coronavirus: Contact tracers finding greater spread in families

Contact tracers have found increased transmission of the coronavirus within families and in the workplace, the health ministry said on Monday following a meeting between the minister, the contact tracing team and the government’s scientific advisors.

Monday’s meeting followed last week’s decision for more extensive investigation of positive cases, including the tracing of secondary contacts – that is the contacts of contacts.

According to the findings presented to minister Constantinos Ioannou, tracers observed an increase in the number of contacts declared by each positive case, from three to four people on average to seven to eight. This contributed to the better investigation and the immediate testing of cases, averting the spread of the virus islandwide, the ministry said.

A total of 774 people were tested as part of the tracing of secondary contacts, from whom six positive cases were detected.

“Through this practice, positive cases were detected more quickly, without the loss of valuable time until people who are the link in the chain test positive,” the ministry said.

Tracing shows that in comparison with the first wave there is increased transmission of the virus among family members.

Similarly, there is complacency in the workplace where it emerged that hygiene protocols are not being faithfully adhered to as concerns socialisation of personnel at work, such as shared breaks and non-implementation of personal protection measures.

Businesses in the services sector are allowed to have 50 per cent of their employees physically present, with hygiene protocols in place, the ministry noted.

Monday’s meeting decided that there should be more extensive investigation of the social activities of positive cases so as to more precisely identify possible problems in specific sectors, it concluded.

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