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15 June, 2024
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Expert hopeful cases will drop but still worried

Karayiannis says cases stabilize but wants Cypriots to stop shaking hands or hugging each other


The number of daily cases in the Republic of Cyprus is going down amid an apparent stabilizing trend, according to a local expert, who says he is optimistic but still fears over people slacking on health protocols.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, health expert Petros Karayiannis says he is optimistic when it comes to the course of the pandemic.

The member of the government’s scientific advisory committee said normally one would expect to see an increase in cases on Mondays and Tuesdays, as more test results trickle in after the weekend, adding he was hopeful this would not be the case this week.

"Usually after weekends numbers go up because some labs don’t work on the weekends. If nothing else, let’s keep our numbers stabilized here where we are right now and then drop down further if possible in the next few days,” he said.

Karayiannis also said he hoped new measures going into effect on Tuesday, including a controversial Safe Pass requirement at supermarkets, would yield results.

'I believe we lost sight of that lately... they shake hands left and right, same thing with hugs, and this kind of behavior won’t help us reduce infections'

“They will take time to yield results but getting results is what we are after, so that nothing further will be necessary,” the expert said.

But Karayiannis also had a word of caution for citizens, calling on them to adhere to health protocols and guidelines in order to avoid what took place in Israel.

“A case in point, Israel had ended health measures three to four months ago on the basis of high vaccination rates in the country,” he said, adding that “things were overturned after they removed the mask requirement because they had the Delta variant which is more highly transmissible.”

Israel had been very cautious about coronavirus mutations, with some reports suggesting that a Royal Caribbean cruise, which was canceled due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was also riddled with problems over getting crew vaccinated in that country.

Cyprus stepped in the spring allowing crew members who could not get a vaccine in their own countries or travel freely to land on the island and get vaccinated either on land or on board an awaiting cruise ship in Limassol.

Last month, Israeli newly-elected Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reintroduced mask requirements following a recent spike in infections due to the highly contagious Delta variant, after health officials in Tel Aviv suspected a family returning from Cyprus might have brought back an infection that started a local outbreak.

“If we don’t want to reach that same level with Israel which had to re-impose strict measures, then let’s do what little things we ask right now,” Karayiannis said.

The expert also said vaccinations were moving steadily forward, adding “people now have realized vaccines are a great way to stop the virus.”

But Karayiannis also said protective measures need to be maintained otherwise there will be no drop in daily cases.

“I believe we lost sight of that lately. People go to weddings and dining venues, many times without following health protection measures. They shake hands left and right, same thing with hugs, and this kind of behavior won’t help us reduce infections,” Karayiannis said.

Cyprus  |  pandemic  |  Karayiannis  |  Israel  |  measures  |  infections  |  vaccine  |  cruise  |  crew  |  Indian mutation  |  Delta variant

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