COVID19: Kraken variant unlikely to trigger surge

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Due to a possible arrival of the Kraken COVID variant, infectious diseases expert Dr Maria Koliou told CNA there would not be a rapid increase in the epidemic curve in Cyprus.

She argued the Cypriot population already has immunity to Omicron 2 and five other variants, which are the most prevalent in the community and are related to Kraken.

Regarding the six Kraken cases in Greece, Dr Koliou said, “the risk of the appearance of the new variant in Cyprus is also visible…it’s a matter of time”.

According to Koliou, the indications for Kraken are no more serious than the existing variants; while she noted the symptoms are not more severe, this variant is excessively more contagious.

On the possible arrival of Kraken in Cyprus, Dr Koliou said, “what we would not like to see is a rapid increase in the epidemic curve”.

“There will possibly be an increase because, with every new variant, we have an increase in the epidemic curve, but what we want is that this curve is not too rapid and sharp.”

She added that even if a new variant has a low percentage of serious cases, some will require treatment in hospitals or the Intensive Care Unit, resulting in a burden on the system, especially when seasonal flu is very active.

The goal is to slow the evolution of the variant when it comes to Cyprus, and applying self-protection measures helps.

“Either with vaccines or using a protective mask indoors, even with a double mask.

“Let’s keep our distance and ensure good ventilation in the areas where we move.”

When asked whether stricter measures have been discussed by the Health Ministry in case the Kraken arrives in Cyprus, Koliou said they should first see how the situation develops.

“What will worry us is the rapid increase in the epidemic curve.

“And in such a case, it will be discussed whether measures should be taken.

“But first, we must see how the situation will develop when the variant comes.”

She said to prevent a rapid increase; self-protection measures must be taken, “otherwise if the state sees that hospitalisations and intubated patients are dangerously increasing, it will have to take measures.”