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13 August, 2020
 
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Karayiannis: guarded quarantines might be required due to over-relaxation

The public is getting too laid back, without realizing the public health risks that are still out there, health advisory committee member said

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The public must continue to show caution and to take all suggested personal protection measures, health advisory committee member Petros Karayiannis said Thursday, noting that the over-relaxation being observed in Cyprus must stop.

Karayiannis condemned scenes of overcrowding observed over the weekend, expressing concern that such behaviours may lead to setbacks.

“I hope that after everything that has been said by the government, by us the epidemiologists, the police, that local authorities, that some get the message that yes, we have relaxed, but not the extent that we undermine everything we have achieved so far,” Karayiannis told the Cyprus News Agency.

Reopening of airports and possibility of new imported cases

Karayiannis pointed out that it may appear that we have eradicated the virus within the community, “but new cases are coming in from those being repatriated to Cyprus.”

He noted that there is always the possibility that more cases will come in with the reopening of airports, “so it’s better to have to deal with those than to have to run around locating local cases.”

Setbacks probably won't bring new lockdown measures, just stricter isolation procedures, Karayiannis said

Asked whether we should expect significant numbers of new cases with the reopening of airports, Karayiannis said this is something that no one can foresee.

“Since the countries from which we will receive the first tourists are countries that have the same, or an even better, epidemiological situations that us, I don’t think that we’ll see a large number of cases through this. But no one can know when the first case will appear.”

As such, he went on, random sampling will be needed on arrivals so that the situation can be closely monitored.

Non-compliant repatriated persons

After government health officials were forced to track down people who were recently repatriated, who were supposed to be in self-isolation at their homes, as they were exposed to confirmed cases, authorities are struggling to set up new ways to check whether self-isolation instructions are being adhered to.

Commenting on the incidents of non-compliance, Karayiannis said “this shows a certain lack of responsibility, with these people not realizing the degree to which they place public health in danger.”

Asked if lockdown measures could be imposed in the event Cyprus sees setbacks, Karayiannis said moves will be focused. “It might not be a lockdown, just strict isolation, a guarded quarantine, that might be of a neighbourhood or a business.”

TAGS
Cyprus  |  coronavirus  |  health  |  airport  |  isolation

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