The rise in the number of positive cases of coronavirus in students is worrying, according to Dr. Petros Karagiannis, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the Medical School of the University of Nicosia.
In statements to KYPE, Dr. Karagiannis said that "there is concern because children who go back to school without being vaccinated are not tested either by PCR or rapid tests and therefore the self-protection measures for children need to be applied ".
He noted that because the Delta strain has prevailed in Cyprus - which seems to be easily transmitted and affect children - there is concern about how things will develop.
We have to make every effort to avoid an increase of cases in students
"Last week when the children of Secondary Education returned, there were about 13 individual cases in students and 2 in teachers not related to the other," he said
Dr. Karagiannis also stated that, "The application of self-protection measures not only in schools but especially when they are inside the schools and with each other is important. Whether they play football or sit on a bench and talk, they have to be careful with those they come in contact.
“The source of the infection can come from outside the school and eventually make its way to students and their families. And this can be disastrous especially if there are unvaccinated people in those families,” he added
He also recommended the use of masks in classrooms and during outdoor activities for young children.
The Professor went on to say that vaccination coverage is increasing in children. And that more children are getting vaccinated now that the school year has begun.
Asked what would happen in case of a spread of infection, he said that the protocols are clear and that they will not close classes. "Close contacts of the children will simply be traced, as what we did in the past and I hope no chains will emerge. We have to make every effort to avoid an increase of cases in students. “It may be impossible to avoid it altogether, but let's keep it to a minimum," he added.
Dr. Karagiannis stressed that there must be a sense of security. "We have said many times that we need to live with the virus. And we can achieve this by adhering to self-protection measures without having iron-clad restrictions.” he said.
"We had the most serious outbreak so far in Cyprus and due to vaccination coverage and protection recommendations, the economy continued to function and we were slowly able to reduce the number of cases from 1165 to about 120 on average over the last three days," he added.