COVID19: Concern over uptick in new cases

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Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said authorities are anxious over a recent spike in daily COVID-19 cases, with scientists looking into the causes behind the uptick.

Health authorities are concerned over a rise in infections after 280 were reported on Monday, the highest level since September.

In comments to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Hadjipantelas said he requested scientists advising the government on coronavirus to provide authorities with data regarding the latest surge.

Hadjipantelas has asked the tracing team for information on the location of possible clusters while asking advisors whether the more contagious Delta plus variant is behind the increase.

Scientists believe the new variant is more transmissible than its predecessor, Delta, but so far, there is no proof that it causes more serious illness.

The cabinet will be reviewing the latest data available and decide accordingly.

CNA citing a source close to the health authorities, said that current measures, ending on 9 November, are expected to be extended for a few more weeks.

The source said a new lockdown is currently not on the table but could not rule it out if epidemiological data worsens.

Archbishop encourages vaccination

On Tuesday, the health minister accompanied Archbishop Chrysostomos II to the vaccination centre at the State Fair in Nicosia for his COVID-19 booster shot.

“The only way to overcome the coronavirus pandemic is vaccination,” said Hadjipantelas appealing to the unvaccinated to roll up their sleeves for a jab.

He also called on people eligible for a booster shot to come forward.

Archbishop Chrysostomos said: “Religion and science should be kept separate…. it is imperative that everybody, young and old, get the vaccine”.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry updated its figures on the island’s vaccination rollout.

Cyprus has fully vaccinated 79.9% of its adult population, or 572,768 people, while 82.2% or 588,118 have received a COVID vaccine.

Around 42.7% of teenagers aged 16 and 17 have received a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

In the 12 to 15 age group, the ratio is 28.6%.

A total of 589,816 people, or 66.4% of the population, are fully vaccinated, while 39,850 have got a booster shot.

Walk-in centres have vaccinated 101,956 people.

Cyprus has reported 124,724 SARS-CoV-2 infections since March 2020 and 574 deaths.