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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Delta variant most probably behind surge in cases says expert

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The minister said he will wait to hear the views of the scientific team before taking any final decisions

The current increase in coronavirus cases is probably due to the Delta variant, a member of the health ministry’s advisory team said on Monday while calling on the public to keep abiding by the health safety protocols.

Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology of the Medical School of the University of Nicosia Dr Petros Karagiannis told the Cyprus News Agency that despite experts not being 100 per cent confident that the Delta variant caused the surge in cases, the specific variant is “the most contagious strain that has been found so far”.

Nine per cent of the cases in early May have been attributed to the Delta variant, but Karayiannis said that “since then, time has passed, and the data may have changed.”

The professor repeated calls to the public to abide by the measures, including wearing face masks and social distancing. He also called on people to get vaccinated, adding that 90 per cent of the new cases concern unvaccinated people.

“This is a super-contagious strain, which seems to infect younger people, perhaps because they have not been vaccinated, and it seems to infect children as well,” Karayiannis said.

Saying that 30 per cent of the new Covid cases concerned children, the health ministry on Monday announced the expansion of the vaccination programme to minors aged 16 to 17.

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