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COVID19: Limassol surge is not a second wave

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A recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Limassol does not constitute a second wave of the coronavirus, said expert virologist Peter Karayiannis who advises the government.

“This is not a second wave, it is an outbreak observed in a specific town of Cyprus,” Karayiannis told CNA.

He said it was an example of what could happen when things go awry which is why people must learn to live with the virus.

Since the outbreak in March, Limassol had the best record for the lowest number of coronavirus cases but this spike three weeks ago has seen around 50 confirmed infections.

Karayiannis said detection of new cases should be done in a timely and in an effective manner so that the chains of transmission in spreading the virus in other areas of Cyprus is prevented.

He said scientists were concerned about the situation in Limassol in the first days but pointed out that Monday saw less than 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Fellow expert Leondios Kostrikis estimates there are 1,000-1,500 active cases in Limassol, but Karayiannis disagrees with this figure.

He said that nine out of 10 cases were contacts of known confirmed cases and not random samples.

“People who should have been self-isolating, despite that went for testing and this gave a wrong picture of what is happening in the community. I consider that number to be between 50 and 100.”

Karayiannis argued the clusters of infections will stop when all possible contacts of the positive cases are traced and remain in isolation.

He said the measures taken by the government are “satisfactory”.