Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Ministry issues latest ECDC variants update

Covid-19 testing

A further five cases of the Delta variant have been detected in Cyprus from samples taken between March 9 and June 11, the health ministry announced on Thursday.

The lab work, carried out by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, identified 170 variants in total; with 158 confirmed as the Alpha variant and five Delta. The total number of samples sent for testing numbered 170.

The data provided by the ECDC is about two weeks out of date and since June 11 there has been a significant increase in cases, with experts blaming the rise on the Delta variant.

There have been concerns that currently Cyprus is about three to four weeks late in assessing the possible spread of variants, as samples are sent to the ECDC instead.

Dr Christos Petrou, Associate Professor at the pharmacological department at the University of Nicosia, told local media that there are three labs in Cyprus which are capable of conducting the tests.

Petrou has argued that Cyprus is missing key epidemiological indicators as Cyprus remains behind the curve, essentially playing catch-up.

For its part, the health ministry said: “The fact that the Delta variant exists within the community has already begun impacting the epidemiological indicators of our country, with an increase in cases and hospitalisations; primarily in people under the age of 40.”

The first Delta cases were identified as far back as May 19 and two more were found on June 2.

Recent studies have shown that Pfizer and AstraZeneca “remain broadly effective against Delta and Kappa variants”.


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