Health expert Leondios Kostrikis estimated on Friday that judging by the progression of the island’s coronavirus curve, we should be free of the virus by early May, though the timeframe depends on the effectiveness of the measures taken, the public’s response, and the elimination of imported cases.
Speaking on a radio programme on Friday, Kostrikis, who is also a member of the group of experts consulting the government on how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, said “the epidemiological curve is a curve that develops according to the daily coronavirus cases.”
Kostrikis noted that the Cyprus coronavirus curve peaked on April 1, when 58 people had tested positive for the virus in a single day.
“If someone observes the curve, they will see that we began in early March, and peaked in early April, so very generally we could say that by around early May the virus may be gone,” Kostrikis said, noting that this will remain the case if the situation does not see any unexpected turns.
Regarding the government’s restriction measures that have disrupted daily life in unprecedented ways, Kostrikis said that “when we reach a period where for 3-4 consecutive days we see zero new cases, then we would have to begin thinking about gradually removing the restriction measures.”
Commenting on the herd immunity tactic being pursued by various leaders around the world, Kostrikis echoed warnings issued by international experts over the risks being too high.
“I disagree with this theory [herd immunity]. It has a scientific basis but you don’t vaccinate a society with a deadly virus, killing 3% of the population. Personally, I consider this a crime. I fully acknowledge the science behind this but this would be something we could do if we weren’t dealing with a killer virus.”
On protective masks, Kostrikis noted that various opinions on their effectiveness are being heard.
“My own opinion is that a mask is important to be worn by a person who goes somewhere where other people are. For example, it makes sense that someone would wear a mask to go to the supermarket, as someone may sneeze and droplets may reach them, but there’s no point in wearing a mask at home or in the car.”
As announced by the Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou during a televised press conference on Wednesday, Kostrikis said that 9 million masks are expected to be procured by the Cyprus government in the coming days.
The coronavirus death toll rose to 10 in the Republic of Cyprus on Thursday, when confirmed cases rose to 564.