Cyprus Mail

Health authorities to prepare Covid road map for autumn

Υπουργός Υγείας – Έναρξη Πορείας Χ
Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela

Health authorities will prepare a road map for autumn, relating to testing and the date when schools will open depending on the state of play with Covid-19, officials announced on Thursday.

The decision was taken during a meeting between Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela and the scientific advisory team for Covid.

Speaking to media, Hadjipantela said they are considering ‘multiple testing’ – a single test detecting the coronavirus as well as other viruses.

“This is so that we know how many viruses are circulating at any given time.”

It would allow for targeted responses to diseases, rather than “acting blindly,” he added.

Depending on what variant of the coronavirus is prevalent by autumn, and the epidemiological situation then, authorities will decide when it’s safe for schools to open and under what conditions.

The European Commission has advised EU member states to prepare their individual Covid-related road maps in anticipation of autumn.

Thursday’s meeting also discussed the subvariant popularly known as Centaurus, first detected in India.

Hadjipantela said that though the new subvariant has a higher transmissibility, “thankfully its morbidity is lower.

“The good news is that this strain that is starting now, will come to our country after we have gone through the BA5 variant. The upsurge with BA5 we had over the last seven days, is now trending downward.”

The minister said that, therefore, whenever the Centaurus variant does arrive in Cyprus it should not be a cause for alarm.

“We are systematically monitoring mutations in our country, and if a new strain gets here we will know in good time.”

He also conveyed the advice of the scientists for people to get their Covid jabs for protection. In particular, those aged 60 and over are urged to get their fourth dose.

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