Known Covid infections continue to rise in the Republic of Cyprus, with the positivity rate standing at 1.80% and health experts warning that vaccinated people should not let their guard down.
Cypriot authorities announced on Monday 787 new cases and one death, while 88 patients were said to be receiving medical treatment in hospitals. The number of total deaths reached 380 while total cases since the start of the pandemic rose to 78,809 in the Republic.
The rapid climb in cases was alarming according to health expert Petros Karayiannis, who singled out Famagusta district as a high transmission area.
“Famagusta at this time, if we take a look at it from a different angle, has 920 cases per 100,000 residents in a 14-day period based on last Friday’s data,” Karayiannis said, referring to the eastern district with a population of just over 40,000, adding that the numbers were similar to those prior to the last lockdown.
Karayiannis, who sits on the government’s pandmic advisory committee, went on to say that vaccinated parents in Famagusta were still getting infected by their children who got the bug and brought it home.
Karayiannis says 'people who are vaccinated should not be complacent because if they are exposed to the virus, they very well could be infected and then transmit it to others'
“Fortunately [the parents] do not have any symptoms due to the fact that they have been vaccinated,” the expert added.
But Karayiannis also said “people who are vaccinated should not be complacent because if they are exposed to the virus, they very well could be infected and then transmit it to others.”
The expert also scolded individuals including locals and tourists in that district who carry a face mask around the arm but not wearing it properly.
Karayiannis also said Greece was having second thoughts after Athens removed last month the use of face masks as a requirement in outdoor gathering places, with the expert saying cases in that country were also on the rise.
Last month Greece made the use of face masks no longer mandatory in outdoor public spaces, while at the same time, Israel re-introduced the use of face masks in indoor places after recording over a hundred cases in successive days after zero earlier.
This is a very serious situation and it was unexpected, said Karayiannis, who called on members of the public to remain vigilant.
“The bug is everywhere and it affects younger people who move about while being more socially active,” the expert said, adding that 55% of cases involved people under the age of 25.
Karayiannis said if more vaccinations were to take place, the situation could be better in the fall but warned that the duration of protection from the vaccine for the elderly was not fully known.
“This is why we are talking about the possibility of a third dose, which would be aimed at boosting antibodies in previously vaccinated people as well as those who recovered,” the expert added.
Karayiannis also said little was known about the Lambda variant, known in the media as a mutation first detected in Latin America.