Cyprus could be coronavirus-free by July

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Cyprus should be coronavirus free by mid-July provided people abide by the pre-emptive social distance measures imposed by the government, said virologist Peter Karayiannis.

The virologist and microbiology professor at the University of Nicosia said by the middle of the second month of summer, people in Cyprus will be able to go back to their normal way of life.

He argued, authorities will still have to be careful about allowing people from abroad into Cyprus.

Karayiannis pointed to China, where there is a drop in reported cases, but authorities are still on their toes as they fear that contagion may return from other countries currently hit by the virus.

The virologist said that Cyprus needs to keep a close eye on what is happening in the UK as it is adopting a different strategy from the rest of the world.

“Right now, the situation is very difficult to determine, it all depends on how the outbreak in Cyprus will evolve. By mid-May we should see a decline in cases and, by mid-July, we should hopefully be virus-free.”

Karayiannis explained that the medical community still knows very little about the virus as it is different from other viruses like SARS, MERS or the bird flu.

“I hope that with rising temperatures, at least in hot countries, the transmission of the virus will decline soon and will result in the outbreak slowing down, as SARS did in 2004, once the summer season began.

But in colder countries in northern Europe, the outbreak might continue until well in the summer

Karayiannis also weighed in on the current situation in Cyprus and on how the outbreak might unfold in the next few days.

“We will almost inevitably witness an increase in the number of cases. This will depend on how quickly we detect other cases before they have the opportunity to spread to others.”

“So far the situation is encouraging and seemingly under control,” said the virologist noting that the measures adopted have been proved by scientists to be effective and will at least limit the outbreak.

The virologist urged people not to panic and to abide by the guidelines set by the health ministry.

Cyprus has 33 coronavirus cases in areas controlled by the republic and another 6 in the Turkish occupied north of the island.