At-home Covid rapid tests could soon be widely available to consumers in the Republic of Cyprus, but a local expert says self-swabbing should only be offered to people who are vaccinated.
According to local media, medical expert Petros Karayiannis says he disagrees with rapid tests being made mandatory for people who got the vaccine against the coronavirus.
Following recent data that emerged from the health ministry’s contact tracing team, a rift emerged within the government’s pandemic task force where members on the committee have been debating whether vaccinated individuals ought to get tested for the bug.
Karayiannis said during a television interview this week that he was against requiring vaccinated individuals to take a rapid test, while adding self-swabbing could be a possibility for them at home if they have symptoms or are known to be close contacts of infected persons.
While at-home Covid tests are legal in the Republic of Cyprus, officials have not included the nasal swabs on an official list that would explicitly allow sales at the local pharmacy
While at-home Covid tests are legal in the Republic of Cyprus, officials have not included the nasal swabs on an official list that would explicitly allow sales at the local pharmacy.
But experts say people regardless of vaccination status could benefit from self-swabbing before or after taking part in social activity, such as going out to a public venue or attending weddings.
Last week Constantinos Tsioutis, who heads the pandemic task force, went public with concerns that the coronavirus was still being spread despite vaccination strategies and Safe Pass restrictions.
Tsioutis called for government policies to evolve in order to account for vaccinated people who may be spreading the bug but go unnoticed due to a false sense of security or lack of rapid tests being taken routinely by unvaccinated individuals.
But Karayiannis, who admitted in the summer that government measures also aimed at putting pressure on people to get the vaccine, has recently said the epidemiological situation in Cyprus was not as bad as other countries but warned people ought to follow health protocols to avoid deterioration.
Tsioutis, who also supports vaccinations, also said “everything comes down to how people behave.”
“We certainly do not want to start talking about measures that would cause a divide amongst our fellow citizens,” Tsioutis said.