COVID19: Cyprus outlook fragile as apathy rules

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Cyprus’ COVID-19 situation is satisfactory but fragile with Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou worried that things could get out of hand if protocols are not followed.

Ioannou told a press conference Wednesday, that while health authorities expect a rise in COVID-19 cases, especially as winter draws nearer, there is concern about the epidemiological analysis of infections.

“Unfortunately, data reveals that in many cases health protocols have not been properly observed,” said Ioannou.

“Data shows that many of the cases identified as contacts of already known cases, could have avoided being infected if more attention had been paid to the guidelines,” he added.

The Minister called on the public to be vigilant until a vaccine or treatment for the virus is found which could be at least six months away.

“Responsibility for containing the virus is upon each and every one of us. Our protection shield is washing hands, wearing a mask, and keeping to social distancing”.

Referring to the state’s responsibilities and strategy to contain the virus, Ioannou said that from the outset protecting public health was the priority.

He said the government’s response to the virus continues to be based on the three key pillars:

  • Large numbers tests in the community, among high-risk groups and at entry points
  • Meticulous case tracking to isolate close contacts
  • Supervision of health protocols, public awareness

Ioannou said that targeted measures are being taken on a local level where outbreaks are detected such as Larnaca and Limassol.

“I would like to remind you that additional emergency measures were implemented last August in Limassol, while measures are in force in the Larnaca and the Famagusta districts.”

He added that authorities are preparing for winter which is a period of increased seasonal infections that will coexist with the coronavirus.

Ioannou said that the Health Ministry will be launching a vaccination campaign for Influenza A on Monday with 40% more jabs (135,000) than last year.