COVID19: Cyprus built strong immunity wall

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Scientists feel Cyprus has finally built a strong immunity wall against the coronavirus due to a high vaccination rate against Omicron spreading among the population.

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, epidemiologist Dr Michalis Voniatis argued that data on the spread of COVID-19 in the community suggests the pandemic has entered a declining course.

Dr Voniatis notes that more than 100,000 people have been infected since October, corresponding to a percentage of around 11% of the overall population.

At the same time, he notes the test positivity percentage, which is now 2%, in combination with the reproduction rate that last week was below 1, indicates the wave of infections powered by Omicron is dying out.

“The above data, in combination with the high vaccination rate as some 70% of the total population have been vaccinated, and the immunity that has been built up within the community through infections, allow experts to feel confident the health crisis is waning,” said Voniatis.

However, Voniatis said, despite the encouraging messages received on the course of Omicron, the crisis is not yet over.

He said 20% of the population does not have any immunity to the virus, adding this is why the vaccination rate should be pushed up.

Voniatis argued that if a new variant appears, it will find ground to spread if a sizeable part of the community has no immunity.

The Omicron variant is now dominant in the community, with evidence indicating it causes less severe disease compared to Delta.

According to Voniatis, Omicron causes fewer and milder symptoms, which are more like those of the common cold in combination with a sore throat.