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Coronavirus: Next 48 thought to be critical as further measures mulled

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Numbers over the next 48 hours will be crucial to any further measures as the health minister will meet the government coronavirus advisory team on Tuesday and the Council of Ministers will decide the following on any further measures to slow the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, member of the advisory team and Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Virology at the Medical School of the University of Nicosia Petros Karayiannis has warned that positive cases could shoot even higher in the next few days resulting in more hospitalisations too.

“Seven thousand cases a day does not seem like and impossible number,” he said to Sigmalive, adding that on Monday as a working day the number of tests will likely be higher.

He said by the middle of the week the result of gatherings over New Year and the holidays will be seen, as the Omicron variant gets passed on quicker.

He suggested that Omicron could now account for all cases seen in Cyprus.

Virologist Michalis Voniatis also said the numbers could be expected to go higher. However he told phienews that there is a ray of hope as the Omicron variant does not seem to be causing such serious cases.

If we had seen the thousands of cases over the last few days with the Delta variant, he said, the hospitals would be in a very bad way.

We should not be surprised, he added, to see 100,000 cases in a week, at which point the hospitals would likely be stretched. Although this might also lead us to herd immunity.

On Saturday a total of 2,332 cases were seen from just under 39,000 tests, giving the highest positivity rate seen so far, at 5.98 per cent. In addition, 187 people were hospitalised, of whom 82 were in a serious condition.

According to Phileleftheros, minister Michalis Hadjipantelas is already in contact with advisors to analyse the situation and it can be taken as a given that stricter measures will be announced on Wednesday although how much things will change is largely though to depend on the number of people in hospital.

These measures are thought to include restricting movement and further restrictions on certain sectors of the economy, such as reducing the number of people in nightclubs, at receptions and also gatherings at homes.

They could also include moves aimed at church services and cross throwing ceremonies on Thursday, January 6.

A complete lockdown is not thought to be on the table.

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