COVID19: Scientists worried over cases in hospitals, offices

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Epidemiologists are anxious over cases found at hospitals with five major clinics reporting COVID-19 infections among their staff, as Cyprus continues to report triple-digit figures daily.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency, Virologist and Health Ministry advisor on COVID, Peter Karayiannis said cases found at five of the country’s largest private clinics can facilitate the further spread of the virus.

“I am puzzled over the number of cases at hospitals as we had said that health institutions should be protected so that they are ready to face the second wave of infections,” said Karayiannis.

“Therefore, mistakes have either been made or the Protocols were not observed. Possibly, some people working at health institutions are not very careful when they leave the hospital.”

Karayiannis also said that businesses are failing to observe protocols as 30% of cases reported in recent days are related to offices.

“The majority of businesses have yet to reintroduce remote working as a safety measure, to avoid having all their staff in the office at the same time.”

He expressed his concern over the three-digit number of new daily cases in recent days, noting that epidemiologists do not have a clear picture of how the virus is spreading.

“We have been reporting three-digit numbers for the last few days, but we are still unable to say the upward trend is continuing or whether we have reached the peak, and we will see cases start to flatten.”

Experts are hoping that recently-imposed measures such as the obligatory use of masks and the curfew in Limassol and Paphos will start to pay off over the next 10 days.

But the expected drop in cases may not happen.

“I am not in a position to predict how the virus will spread; thus, I cannot say what additional measures will need to be taken.

If there is a problem in the other districts, the measures in force in Limassol and Paphos will be extended islandwide.

From then on, there will be a gradual introduction of measures depending on how worrying the situation is”.