COVID19: Expert warns social distancing must be respected

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Since the lockdown measures eased, Cypriots have let their guard down in public places by ignoring social distancing rules, said government advisor on coronavirus Peter Karayiannis.

Member of the advisory scientific committee and professor of molecular biology stressed the virus is still among us and people should be particularly careful.

In statements to CNA, Karayiannis said that right now a relaxed attitude on taking protective measures against the coronavirus is evident, which is a cause of concern.

“We reached zero cases but this did not become established…since we are still diagnosing cases there is a possibility of finding other positive cases from tracing contacts and this number is increasing.”

“The virus has still not left Cyprus and that is why it is imperative that we are particularly careful.”

“We have witnessed people behaving as if normal times have returned in gatherings and this is cause for great concern.”

Karayiannis warned that if a positive case is diagnosed out of such gatherings it will be very difficult to trace their contacts with an accuracy of 100%.

He warned people’s behaviour at cafes, bars and restaurants, urging the public to uphold guidelines on social distancing.

Scientists believe that during the summer months COVID-19 will continue to be under control.

“Right now, there is no indication of a second wave,” said Karayiannis said.

He expects that a number of cases will surface in the months to come.

“It may not be a second wave, but no-one can know this or where it will originate from.”

He doesn’t believe lockdown will return anytime soon, although winter is another matter.

“It depends what the winter has in store for us.”

He said kindergartens, public swimming pools, fitness centres and other businesses which have still not resumed operations will open if the second phase of lockdown exit proves successful.

“Once a period of stabilization of the second phase of easing restrictive measures passes without problems, kindergartens and other businesses which are still shut could also open, as well as reception halls and open-air theatres.”