Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou called on the Cyprus public to stay vigilant and to continue taking personal protection measures as coronavirus is still among us, warning that we will remain unprotected until a vaccine is found.
Ioannou issued his warning on Wednesday morning during a meeting with the leader of ruling party DISY Averof Neophytou, who congratulated the Health Minister for the hard and successful work conducted by him and his team of experts, led by President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.
“We need to take the necessary personal protection measures, and if we stick to these we will have nothing to worry about during the next few months and until the discovery of a vaccine, when we will be finally able to say that we’ve beat this pandemic,” Ioannou said.
Health expert highlights rise in cases globally, but says we won’t see second wave
Member of the government’s health advisory committee Constantinos Tsioutis said we won’t be seeing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the current global phenomenon involving a noticeable spike in new coronavirus cases is part of the first wave, citing World Health Organization opinion and daily maps outlining the spread of the virus.
A second wave, Tsioutis noted, would require a significant drop in cases, which has not been recorded in many parts of the world, before a renewed rise.
“What we expect to see over the next few months is a continuation of the first wave at the same rate. We hope that it won’t be so fast, but it will continue into the fall,” Tsioutis pointed out.
He added that the global coronavirus situation is not looking good, urging the Cyprus public to not be deceived by the local picture.
“There are countries that are transmission epicentres, such as the US, India, Brazil, South Africa. We’re seeing that we have several countries from different continents, which are new epicentres with increasing coronavirus cases, and so we’re seeing 150,000-200,000 new cases on a daily basis,” Tsioutis said.
Locally, with airports re-opened, the public must remain cautious, he said, noting that the two factors that make the virus particularly dangerous are firstly the long incubation period and secondly the percentage of asymptomatic cases.
Regarding vaccines, Tsioutis said that currently, there are a couple that are due to enter clinical phase 3, during which they will be tested on thousands of volunteers, which means that by the end of the year things will be more optimistic and there will be at least one effective and safe vaccine.
“The vaccine may be found but the issue at hand is how accessible it will be to the entire world, how many doses will be needed and how long the immunity will last. We believe that vaccines are the solution on a global scale, but we are not expecting them to be available soon,” he said, predicting that “until spring 2021 we will continue as we are now.”