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25 November, 2020
 
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Scientist warns of major spike in Cyprus

Local community in panic mode, health expert says ‘matter of time’ until major spike if people not careful

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The Parents Association in Polis Chrysochous, Paphos district, is calling for local schools to be shut down following a recent spike of coronavirus cases, with reports saying large-scale social events in the area may have heightened the spread of COVID-19.

Local media said organized parents and guardians in two secondary-level public schools in Polis Chrysochous were alarmed over ten new coronavirus cases, which emerged positive out of 250 lab tests through a private initiative.

The group called on the two schools to be shut down, while officials clarified they would remain open but a large number of students have been told to stay home for two weeks.

'We know more or less what each citizen has to do in general, quite simply, self-isolation,' Pana said

Health expert Zoi-Dorothea Pana also weighed in on the issue this week, calling on members of the public to be patient, saying she understood their frustration while adding scientists have gained considerable knowledge after nine months on the job since the outbreak.

“We know more or less what each citizen has to do in general, quite simply, self-isolation,” Pana said referring to contacts of confirmed cases.

“Unfortunately, every case has a huge number of contacts,” she said, adding that recent efforts and procedures may need to be readjusted including hiring additional medical staff.

Super-spreaders need to stay home

Pana, who serves as an advisor on the government’s coronavirus task force, went on to say that infected people who do not self-isolate act as “super-spreaders” of the bug, making further spread of COVID-19 in the community “a matter of time" before becoming a major problem.

Reports said recent spikes in Polis Chrysochous emerged after large gatherings took place recently, including weddings and a party.

Officials said numbers of participants were a bit high in some cases but stopped short of linking the recent spike directly to the social events, saying more information would emerge in the coming days.

The health ministry this week said the number of symptomatic cases, in some cases with serious symptoms, once again outnumbered those without symptoms, pointing to potentially larger numbers of people who could require hospitalization.

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