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COVID19: Scientists trace clusters in schools, work

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Scientists advising the government on managing coronavirus are concerned about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases traced among children and young adults.

The advisory team met on Monday to evaluate the spread of the virus in the community, with scientists focusing on a large number of clusters at schools and workplaces.

According to a Health Ministry update, scientists noted the high number of cases found in primary schools, as 456 cases were reported for 27 November to 3 December, up from 313 the previous week.

Some 354 cases were found among teenagers between 12 and 17.

Some 1,006 cases out of the total 3,306 reported for the week 27 November-3 December involved children and young adults under the age of 20.

Scientists were also concerned over the jump in cases involving people in their early 30s, as cases for the age group 30 to 34 jumped to 332 from 227 the week before.

The Scientific Advisory Committee is satisfied with the lower number of cases found amongst the elderly.

Older adults needing hospitalisation are those with underlying health conditions and people who have not had their booster shot yet.

Cases among the over 65s were 243 during the last week reported.

Airport tests

Scientists also touched on an increase in cases found at airports, as figures have risen to the low 20s in recent days, from being close to zero in previous months.

Cyprus health authorities are on the alert to detect cases of the Omicron variant, which is believed to be more transmissible than Delta.

All arrivals to the island are submitted to a PCR test to curb coronavirus spread and screen for the Omicron variant.

Until 10 January, all passengers arriving in Cyprus will undergo a compulsory PCR test at Larnaca and Paphos airports with a €15 charge irrespective of vaccination status.

Around 5,000 passengers undergo daily PCR tests at Cyprus’ two airports, said Maria Kouroupi, a senior official at Hermes Airports.

At Larnaca, she said, there are seven points where the tests are performed and three stations at Paphos airport.