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COVID19: Cyprus heatwave scorches coronavirus

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Cyprus’ scorching heatwave is a secret weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, said virus expert Dr Petros Karayiannis advising the government on how to beat coronavirus

“I think the heatwave is on our side. Due to the high temperatures we have at the moment, even if someone is sick and sneezes, the droplets will not stay wet for long…they will dry very quickly and the virus will be inactivated,” Karayiannis told The Cyprus News Agency.

Karayiannis is a professor of microbiology/molecular virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School and member of the Health Ministry’s scientific advisory committee.

He pointed out that hot surfaces do not help the virus and open spaces do not aid transmission but it doesn’t stop people contracting the virus through contact.

Karayiannis believes that in the next few days COVID-19 cases may disappear or occur only sporadically.

He said the number of samples taken on a daily basis is very large compared to other European countries, adding this procedure followed by Cyprus is capable of detecting sporadic cases while other countries, such as Greece, do not take them into account.

The scientist was not particularly concerned about the two cases found among students in Aradippou, describing it as an isolated incident in an area where there was a cluster in the past.

He hopes there will be nothing alarming about the tests taken from now until Thursday when the rest of the students return to school.

“We should learn to live with the virus, every time a case is found in any environment, it does not mean that we have to close everything and go back 15 days.

We need to implement isolation protocols by tracking contacts and life goes on.”

He considered it a “great misfortune” that two cases were found in a school at Aradippou creating a sense of uncertainty, adding that this should urgently remind us of the need to be very careful and not to relax.

Next phase good to go 

Karayiannis said that the Cypriot society is ready for the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic.

“We are definitely ready for the second phase. With the picture we have at the moment, we are ready to move on. I have no doubt about that and I don`t think there will be a reversal.”

Since the first easing of restrictive measures with nearly 60,000 people going back to work,, not a single positive case has been found among those workers.

Karayiannis said at the moment there is nothing to worry about in our epidemiological picture.

He said that foreign visitors would not come to the country soon after the opening of the airports scheduled to take place on June 9.

He said the arrival of passengers will take place later because more processes are still needed to be done.

He called on those going to the beach due to high temperatures to comply with protective measures and observe social distancing but said masks aren’t necessary.   (source CNA)