COVID19: Second wave of virus to be expected in autumn

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There is no reason to believe coronavirus will disappear from Cyprus with a likely second wave expected in the autumn, said infection control expert Constantinos Tsioutis.

He said society must get used to living with COVID-19, especially with no vaccine yet available.

“What we need to do is to learn how to live with the virus. We have said this from the start,” Tsiotis told CNA.

“We have no reason to believe the virus will disappear in the summer or next winter, so we have to implement all these measures under any circumstances,” he added.

The scientist said mathematical models and various scientific predictions indicate that most likely, in the autumn, there will be a new wave of not only coronavirus but also other viral infections, as happens every year.

“What we are doing now and what we are learning is strengthening our readiness for a second wave in the autumn. It is difficult to predict the size and extent, but the good thing is that we will have a lot more experience and knowledge.”

“It is possible that medical technology will help us in terms of appropriate treatments and maybe vaccines. The height of the second wave is very difficult to predict,” he added.

On whether the epidemic will subside in the summer, the expert said there is no reason to believe that hot weather will restrict the virus’ transmission.

The virus, he said, has indicated it has a sensitivity to climatic conditions, according to experimental studies.

“However, we have no reason to believe that summer will change or affect the way the virus is spread.”

Tsioutis is a lecturer of infection control at the European University and a member of the government’s scientific committee on the pandemic.