COVID-19 has nothing to do with getting the flu and is much deadlier, said expert Maria Koliou, assistant professor of Infectious Diseases at University of Cyprus Medical School and Medical Association coronavirus task force chair.
She told CNA that in the next few weeks, Cyprus will be able to assess the results of government measures to restrict free movement.
Koliou, an adviser to the Health Ministry, said that although there is an increasing trend in the number of confirmed cases announced on Sunday the numbers are under control.
“For the time being, we are not facing a virus outbreak…we need to concentrate on those areas where there is no compliance with the measures”.
She said with the private laboratories now performing tests now there will be an increase in the numbers “whether we want it or not”.
On whether the virus could return next winter, Koliou said that depends on many factors, although she believes a second wave will not be that strong.
“In the autumn, there may be a vaccine or better medicines to handle the virus.”
“For the time being, research on the medicine to treat the virus is progressing so rapidly and I believe that after May we will have much better results”.
Koliou pointed out that the virus has proved that thousands of people can die from it, for instance in Italy, so it can’t be compared to the flu.
“Therefore no one can say that it is just the simple flu. This is out of the question.”
“The flu has a mortality of 0.1%. Mortality for COVID – 19 ranges from 2%, which is the average, while in Italy this is nearly 7%. The 1918 pandemic, which killed 50 million people, had a mortality rate of around 2%.”
“We need to be responsible and abide by all measures because we have an ugly enemy before us, a new virus which our bodies cannot recognise and fight it promptly resulting with many people suffering and others losing their lives,” Koliou added. (source CNA)