The Omicron sub-variant, weather conditions and growing fatigue are some of the reasons behind the rise in positive cases in Cyprus, says Dr. Zoe-Dorothea Pana, a member of the Advisory Scientific Committee and Lecturer in Paediatrics at the European University of Cyprus. Positive cases in Cyprus now exceed 5,000 per day.
Speaking to CNA, Dr. Pana stated that the outbreak of cases is seen not only in Cyprus but also across Europe.
Dr. Pana stated that the outbreak of cases is seen not only in Cyprus but also across Europe.
She noted that due to the predominance of the Omicron sub-variant, which is super transmissible, the dispersion in the community has increased.
On the other hand, she added, cold weather conditions as well as indoor interactions, coupled with the fact that we are in a phase where society is trying to remain open two years after the pandemic also plays a significant role in the increase of cases.
She also mentioned that pandemic fatigue is also an important factor. Despite the fact that people now know how to live with the pandemic, there is also a psychological aspect concerning their weariness which affects compliance, she said.
The main issue we need to determine is whether immunity from vaccinations is declining, she pointed out.
"So the combination of all these factors contributes to the current outlook in the community," she said, and pointed to the fact that people have the possibility to test regularly and, therefore, "we can detect a significant number of people who are infected."
When asked whether the increase of cases was something expected, Pana said that "to some extent, an increase in positive cases was expected due to the super-transmissibility of the Omicron sub-variant and the fact that society is now open," noting that other countries are facing similar problems.
"The question now, at this stage of the pandemic, is to see if the wall of immunity, especially in the community, is sufficient to stop an increase in serious illnesses and hospitalizations. If this is the case, and it is the most probable scenario, then an outburst in the community will not affect us in the same way as it has done in the past", she adds.
She noted that the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has stated that it is concerned whether, at this stage, infections in the community are in themselves a reliable indicator.
"We have to monitor what is happening in the community but the interest and the strategy are mainly determined by the serious illness and the in-hospital indicators. The key is to find the right balance between what is happening in the community and what we see in terms of serious illness and hospitalizations", she added.