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COVID19: Winter could push Cyprus daily cases into 3-digits

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Cyprus could be reporting 100 COVID-19 cases a day during the winter months if the public continues to disregard protocols warned a government advisor on handling coronavirus.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, Constantinos Tsioutis, an expert in infection control, said: “If we continue to see health protocols violated if we continue to see people with symptoms walking around normally… then three-figure cases cannot be ruled out.”

Tsioutis said scientists had observed with alarm that people were disregarding the rules of public health, hygiene and social distancing.

“Cyprus has shown that it can control it (the pandemic). Our country’s characteristics allow for getting control over outbreaks but if we continue to witness similar situations as today, the worst-case scenario could come into play”.

Tsioutis said the authorities will be unable to contain the virus if people do not restrict their social contacts.

“If we continue witnessing cases with a large number of contacts this means people are not restricting their social activity.”

He said currently Cyprus is going through an uptick in cases noting that the outbreak is not fully under control, but neither does it appear to have gotten out of hand.

Around 250 cases were reported in September and data obtained from contact tracing has shed light on which measures may need to be taken or tweaked during winter.

Based on the information collected from cases regarding their close contacts, experts are concerned as more social gatherings will be taking place indoors during colder weather.

Tsioutis said that it is very likely that double-digit figures will remain the norm for the foreseeable future.

He added that the advisory team believes that cases will remain in double-digits if the authorities also keep to their tactic so far, of swiftly tracing and isolating contacts with a high number of tests.

The Republic of Cyprus has recorded a total of 1,847 cases with cases remaining in double digits for the past two weeks.

Monday saw 23 new cases being reported while the highest rise for months was on 23 September when 36 new cases were reported.