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Coronavirus: Measures could be relaxed as numbers drop, expert says


There could be further relaxations to the measures against the spread of coronavirus, a member of the epidemiological team said on Monday stressing the need for people to get vaccinated.

Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School Petros Karayiannis told Alpha TV that the epidemiological team will submit their suggestions this week.

Referring to the drop in daily cases, Karayiannis did not rule out further relaxations though he could not say what these would be as the decision lies with the government.

He said that the decrees on the measures expire at the end of the month.

“Perhaps the Council of Ministers will decide some further relaxations,” Karayiannis said, adding he did not know what these will be. “What matters is that the vaccination coverage advances to achieve the goal set for June to have an immune barrier to the virus. Then we will be able to relax a lot more.” The goal is to reach 65 per cent by the end of June.

Karayiannis expressed the hope that the daily case number will be under 50 within the coming days.

“We will see how things turn out in the coming days, I believe that not only the vaccination coverage but also the warm weather helps to reduce the cases even more and I hope to go below 50 very soon, which will encourage us to move on relaxations, not us but the government,” he added.

On Sunday, one death and 75 coronavirus cases were announced, a positivity rate of 0.12 per cent. This was the third time in the last week that double-digit numbers were recorded, giving rise to optimism that the situation is gradually improving.

According to the latest national surveillance report by the health ministry’s epidemiological surveillance unit, released on Friday, there has been an improvement in the 14-day cumulative diagnosis rate. On Friday it was reported as 431.6 per 100,000 population, which led the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) move Cyprus from the dark red to the red category.

On whether the obligation to wear a mask would be lifted, Karayiannis said last week that once the vaccination coverage reaches 60 per cent to 65 per cent and if the daily cases drop to double digit numbers, this is an issue that could be discussed.

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