COVID19: Scientists worried over August holidays

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Scientists advising the government on coronavirus are concerned over the 15 August national holiday, raising the alarm over possible clusters forming from large social gatherings.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency on Tuesday, government advisor and virologist Dr Peter Karayiannis urged the public to be careful during their holidays, abiding by personal protective measures and protocols.

“Many people are on their annual leave during August, and especially after the 15th, therefore everyone needs to be careful,” said Karayiannis.

He expects to see a rise in coronavirus cases during the coming weeks.

Karayiannis said it’s difficult to predict the trend in new cases as many people are on vacation and unlikely to get tested.

“But the dropping number of hospitalisations indicates a downward trend”.

The virologist attributed the increased number of deaths in recent days to the fact that most patients admitted to hospitals are not vaccinated or have other underlying health conditions.

Health authorities are on track to reach their target of vaccinating 80% of the population by the end of August.

On Monday, Cyprus reported another 446 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths, taking the total to 106,428 cases and 444 deaths.

Some 278 people were in the hospitals, of which 98 were in a more serious condition.

Most patients in COVID wards and ICUs are unvaccinated, as around 90% do not have a vaccination record.