Cyprus Mail

President to meet epidemiological team on Monday (updated)

As daily coronavirus numbers continue to climb, President Nicos Anastasiades will on Monday evening meet the scientific advisory team on the pandemic.

The meeting will be held at 6.30pm at the Presidential Palace. New minister of health Michalis Handjipentalas is also due to be at the meeting.

An announcement from the presidency gave no indication of exactly what would be on the agenda.

On Saturday 226 new Covid-19 cases were reported from 41,809 tests, a positivity rate of 0.54 per cent.

The recent surge in cases is due to a number of reasons and it is difficult to gauge how long it will last, head of the team Constantinos Tsioutis told the Cyprus News Agency on Sunday.

He said the reasons include relaxations of measures which have led to increased contacts, the impression that the worst is over, fatigue after so many months and lockdowns, more transmissible variants, they plateauing of vaccinations and poor uptake among the most socially active groups.

He said while it is difficult to know how long the increase would go on for, taking protective measures and following decreed would help to reduce it.

“The fact that we have many active clusters with a large number of people in them shows that we have not been careful and abided by the protocols,” Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School Petros Karayiannis told ANT1. “Complacency is our worst enemy right now,” he added.

He said the spike in cases could be stopped by observing the rules and vaccination.

“So that no stricter measures are needed, which no one wants, we must control our own behaviour first, and secondly those who have not yet been vaccinated should do so as soon as possible and ignore the misinformation circulating on the internet,” he added.

Quoting sources, Sigma said the meeting would also address one member of the team who has been called to court. Relaxing of measures is not thought to be likely. “We will not be throwing away masks any time soon,” one source told the channel.

“In order to propose new measures in Cyprus, we must see how the situation is evolving and also analyse our data in detail,” Tsioutis said, as we are passing through a stage of the pandemic that is very different to those before it.

On Friday it was reported that members of the epidemiological team would have a teleconference over the weekend to discuss extending the vaccination programme to 16-year-olds.



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