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Coronavirus: Pandemic has stabilised, but autumn a cause for concern, says advisor

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Cyprus is currently in a period of adjustment and preparation for the pandemic’s next phase, while September is a cause for concern for a variety of reasons, according to a government Covid-19 advisor.

Zoe Dorothea-Pana, who has received an EU grant for covid vaccine research in her capacity as a lecturer in paediatrics at the European University Cyprus’ School of Medicine, said that the pandemic has stabilised in Cyprus and the EU, but she warned that the arrival of Omicron subvariants in Cyprus cannot be ruled out.

She further reasoned that Cyprus is currently doing well as it still has high levels of immunity within the population both through vaccination and infection. Pana warned however that over 40 countries are under 20 per cent vaccinated, arguing that new variants could appear under such a scenario.

Asked about the potential for further Covid restrictions to be lifted – such as the SafePass, which is still required for indoor dining – Pana was cautious, saying that we remain in the midst of a pandemic, aiming for it to become endemic.

“Most measures have been lifted, whichever measures remain in place are aimed at areas of high danger and for persons at high risk… From there on we must see how the situation develops and prepare ourselves,” she said.

Elsewhere, the health minister was asked about further relaxations – having previously stated that the issue would be revisited on May 15.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said that he has asked for the advisors’ positions in writing, explaining that whatever is recommended will be put to cabinet, which meets on Tuesday.

“The only relaxation left now to grant the public is at weddings and night clubs – we’ll see – if it is suspended then there will be no measures whatsoever other than the SafePass at hospitals and care homes,” Hadjipantela said on Monday.

He made no reference to the use of masks, which remains mandated in most indoor areas or cafes, restaurants and bars which are still mandated to require SafePass checks indoors.

“The data I’m receiving every day are very good, infections are constantly declining as are hospitalisations,” he added.

 

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