Cypriot Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou is urging people to comply with health measures, saying the epidemiological outlook in the country remains fragile and the situation could get out of control.
After Ioannou and fellow ministers got vaccinated with the first dose of the AstraZeneca on Thursday, reporters asked Ioannou about the situation in hospitals and whether restrictive measures would be relaxed in view of Greek Orthodox Easter, with the health minister pointing out his concerns.
“We have been urging people for a long time now to cooperate, taking the necessary protective measures, because the situation was and remains fragile," Ioannou said.
The comments were made on the same day authorities reported six more deaths from COVID-19 and over 250 hospitalizations with a quarter of those patients said to be in serious condition
The minister also urged people to get vaccinated, saying "the key is the vaccination and not the vaccine,” echoing President Nicos Anastasiades who accompanied members of his Cabinet to get the AstraZeneca shot in a publicity stunt to boost public confidence.
“It is the vaccination that saves lives, that protects us from a serious disease. Let’s trust the EMA scientists, our scientists who guide our decisions", Ioannou said, while also adding "all licensed vaccines are secure."
The comments were made on the same day authorities reported six more deaths from COVID-19 and over 250 hospitalizations with a quarter of those patients said to be in serious condition.
The positivity rate also reached 1.36%, alarming the minister who said an increase of the positivity rate was cause for concern.
Ioannou clarified that ICU’s had not reached their limits but noted a number of difficulties saying “it may be a matter of days before the situation to get out of control.”
"We need to understand that the situation is still difficult. Europe is experiencing a third wave, some countries a fourth one. We need a couple of months to get the necessary vaccination coverage and we need to be patient," Ioannou noted.
Ioannou said he was urging people to follow necessary hygiene practices and comply with health protocols, noting that the percentage of people who complied with the measures was not high at the given time.