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COVID19: Christmas will be different this year

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Despite scientists believing tougher restrictions will reduce COVID infections by the end of November, curbs on gatherings and social distancing will make this Christmas a stoic affair.

Epidemiologist Dr Michael Voniatis told the Cyprus News Agency on Monday, that the situation in Cyprus is very serious as the virus is circulating freely in the community.

However, he noted that the lockdown and curfew measures are expected to produce results in the next 10 days.

Voniatis argued that Sunday’s drop to 127 new cases from Saturday’s 198, is not enough to say that measures have started to pay off.

He said cases need to follow a downward trend for at least 4-5 days, this is expected to happen towards the end of the month.

And this Christmas, Cypriots are going to have to reduce their social contacts when it comes to traditional family gatherings.

“This is going to be a different Christmas compared to what we are used to, as things will not be easy,” said Voniatis.

Cypriots have already spent Easter 2020 in lockdown.

“As a society, we must endure this situation otherwise if we do not impose restrictive measures, lives will be lost, and we will continue to lose people in relation to the number of cases.

“What we are most interested in, is reducing the number of people admitted to hospitals, intensive care units, and those needed to be intubated.”

Voniatis said that the virus will still be with us at least until July.

“It all depends on when the vaccine will be available and how soon vaccinations will be able to take place”.

“We are on the right track, but we do not yet have the final approval for the use of vaccines. The final approval will mean that we will definitely have a safe and effective vaccine”.

Cyprus on Sunday announced 127 new COVID-19 cases taking the confirmed total to 7,178, and 40 deaths.