COVID19: Cyprus plans autumn roadmap, Centaurus not a concern

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The possible arrival of Centaurus, a new Covid subvariant which is more contagious but less severe, in tandem with the downward trend in BA5 infections, is not a cause for concern, said Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela.

After meeting scientists on Thursday, Hadjipantela said it was decided to prepare a roadmap for autumn.

He announced the decision to carry out another diagnostic test, which will detect not only the coronavirus but also other viruses to deal with them in a targeted manner.

At the emergency meeting, experts discussed the new subvariant Centaurus and the course of action to tackle Covid in autumn.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has asked all member states to take measures and prepare a roadmap ahead of autumn.

On Centaurus, Hadjipantela said he had been informed that it is a new subvariant from India, which is more contagious, “but fortunately” not more severe.

Hadjipantela said the Omicron BA5 outbreak the country has experienced showed a downward trend in the last seven days.

“So, if the new Centaurus subvariant arrives, it is not alarming.”

The government is monitoring the mutations in Cyprus for early detection of Centaurus if it arrives.

The minister said vaccines protect against the virus, and people over 60 should be vaccinated with the fourth dose.

Implementing the autumn roadmap involves “multiple testing” for various viruses.

“This test detects several viruses at the same time, not just coronavirus, so that we know at each particular moment how many viruses we have in our country”.

Also, he said that some tests would be introduced for infections that affect children.

The roadmap will provide guidelines on possible measures for opening schools and how to proceed if any new mutations are detected.