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Coronavirus: measures unlikely to change significantly for Easter period

ΠτΔ – Επιστημονική Συμβουλευτική
File photo: President Nicos Anastasiades with the scientific team

There are no plans to either significantly tighten or relax the current Covid measures, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday.

To mark World Health Day, the president first met patients associations on Wednesday morning. He also visited an vaccination centre and the head office of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), and met with his scientific team.

Speaking after his visit to the HIO, he said, when asked, that there were “not so many concerns” expressed by epidemiologists but this did not mean the situations did not need to be evaluated on a daily basis. “Therefore, everything depends on the coming days because what we are interested in is to see that there is at least stability in terms of [hospital] admissions so that the health system can stay strong,” he said.

While the highest aim was to save lives, he said the fatigue of the public could not be ignored, plus there was a need for the economy to continue to operate. “So there is currently no plan to either tighten or relax [the measures.”

Decisions have been taken, he added, and been referred to the Council of Ministers meeting on April 24 “to decide the measures to be taken”.

After his meeting with the scientific team, Anastasiades said he was hopeful of opening the economy by the end of the Spring barring any unexpected developments on the part of pharmaceutical companies.

Anastasiades thanked the advisory team, saying that their advice has helped steer Cyprus successfully through the pandemic.

“I would like to express my thanks, but also the gratitude of society towards all of you,” he said, while also noting that Cyprus has received praise on a European and international level for its handling of the pandemic.

Cyprus was performing in a way that “makes us all proud.” The vaccination programme was being fully utilised. He also referred to high testing rates and said that Cyprus ranked second in Europe, in terms of reduced mortality rates.

Anastasiades had a separate meeting on Wednesday with Cyprus’ Federation of Patients Associations, and praised the organisation for its contribution to the implementation of Gesy. He underlined the importance of cooperation between state authorities and organisations in dealing with health matters.

On Gesy, he said: “We cannot imagine how we could tackle the pandemic, if there was no GHS” the president said, adding that around 30,000 chronically ill patients have already been vaccinated or were proposed to schedule a jab. By the end of Spring, all of them will be inoculated, he concluded.

Asked to comment on concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine, Anastasiades said: “I understand that people are reasonably concerned, but the data so far say that those who may suffer some side effects are one in one million. “There is no medicine, even one of the most innocent, that if one reads the instructions for the possible consequences one will not find that even painkillers etc. have their side effects “. We will wait for the decisions of the European Medicines Agency and we will act accordingly, he concluded.

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