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Coronavirus: expert foresees lifting of restrictions at end of April

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Photo: CNA

One of the government’s scientific team said on Tuesday he expected restrictions would be lifted by the end of April.

Dr Petros Karayiannis, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Virology at the Medical School of the University of Nicosia told CNA that in the next one to two weeks, there would be a decrease in cases in Limassol and that by the end of April the situation would be normalised.

He reckoned that Tuesday would show a higher number of cases for the simple reason that fewer tests were done on Monday due to the public holiday but “generally the positivity rate is around 1 per cent,” he said.

He stressed, however, that attention must be paid to the health system.
“We have to keep our eyes on hospital admissions. There is pressure, the number of patients is the same as it was in January-February, when we entered the strictest measures,” he added.

“The difference is that patients are now younger because older people are vaccinated. I believe that the period of admissions in large numbers will stabilise and we will see more discharges from hospitals.”

Commenting on the lifting of some measures on Tuesday, specifically the opening of restaurants and cafes for outdoor dining, Karayiannis said if the strict protocols, which have been ridiculed by restaurant owners, are followed, there would be no problems.

“There may be a slight increase in cases. However, I hope that the situation will stabilise,” he said.

In relation to the situation in Limassol, which has come under fire for lack of adherence, a higher number of cases and a higher positivity rare, Karayiannis said the situation there had at least not worsened.

“I believe that we will start to see a drop in the number of cases in the next one or two weeks with the measures that have been announced, ie the non-return of children to high schools and the closure of primary schools there,” he said.

Karayiannis called on the people to observe the self-protection measures and to be patient. Around 1,000 people gathered for a carnival party at the old port of Limassol on Sunday night causing outrage across the other districts.

“People are tired, but that does not mean we have to destroy what we have achieved so far,” said Karayiannis. “It still takes a little patience”.

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