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10 July, 2020
 
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Return to lockdown not likely, Karayiannis says

Health advisory committee member said a return to lockdown measures will only be considered if we reach a point where 30 new cases are announced daily

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The health advisory committee is keeping a close watch on the consistent crowding observed since restrictions on movement were lifted on May 21, but committee member Petros Karayiannis said lockdown measures won’t be reinstated unless Cyprus returns to a state where around 30-40 new coronavirus cases are announced over consecutive days.

While experts are warning the public to avoid behaviours of over-relaxation, by maintaining personal protection and social distancing measures, the full focus of the committee’s attention has shifted onto those being repatriated and on the impending partial resumption of airports.

Speaking to Kathimerini Cyprus, Karayiannis said that whether restriction measures will be re-imposed will depend on how the pandemic reacts to signs of over-relaxation on behalf of the public.

A setback seems unlikely, he said, but we may see lockdown measures return if around 30-40 new coronavirus cases emerge daily over five consecutive days.

For the time being, Karayiannis noted, local cases are at zero, as the eight new cases announced on Sunday night involved seven people who were repatriated from abroad, and a contact of another known case. Though these cases raised concern as they came after the first day of zero new cases since coronavirus broke out, Karayiannis said the source of the eight cases signalled that there there were no new sources of coronavirus among the Cyprus public.

“Theoretically, we don’t have a problem in Cyprus at this point in time – if we had, the public’s behaviour over the past few days, would exacerbate it,” Karayiannis said.

He added that Cyprus appears to be heading toward the end of its pandemic, but caution remains high as airports are set to being accepting tourists early next month.

Stability remains the goal

Regarding the signs of misconduct being observed among the public, Karayiannis said that if the island’s epidemiological situation remains stable two weeks into the second phase of the relaxation of measures, then we can stop worrying as much.

Karayiannis concluded that for the time being, a return to lockdown measures doesn’t seem to be on the horizon, but this will heavily depend on how the situation develops over the next two weeks, particularly given the resumption of the operation of food and drink businesses which encourage crowding.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  coronavirus  |  health  |  crowding  |  lockdown

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