Some 80 to 100 blood samples are awaiting lab tests for coronavirus at the Institute of Neurology and Genetics, while samples will be taken anew from several of 152 persons who had come in contact with a confirmed case but tested negative for the virus on Tuesday.
According to the head of the Molecular Virology department of the Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Christina Christodoulou, the number of confirmed cases is low but is expected to rise.
“I’d like to point out that the reason why the number is low is because the state health services have worked and are working in the right manner and are exhausting themselves to ensure that the number of samples positive for the virus remains as low as possible,” Christodoulou said.
She added however that “we all travel abroad frequently, and now Easter is drawing nearer and students from Italy, the UK, Greece, will arrive, and with the movement of people will also come more cases of the virus.”
“It is impossible for the virus not to come and this is nobody’s fault, it’s the natural course of things,” Christodoulou said.
She noted that the virus can be tackled, though focus must be steered toward the vulnerable groups of the population.
Regarding the 152 negative samples that were taken from the hospital contacts of one of the island’s confirmed coronavirus cases, a 64-year-old who worked as the head of Cardiac Surgery at Nicosia General Hospital, Christodoulou said that some will be checked anew if they begin to show symptoms, as they may have been tested before the virus began to multiply.
Christodoulou added that second blood samples will also be taken from those among the 152 who had immediate physical contact with the 64-year-old, such as a handshake, as well as from vulnerable groups.
Some 80 to 100 additional samples from contacts of the 64-year-old are also under examination while more are expected to arrive, Christodoulou said.
In total, Christodoulou estimated that some 250 samples have so far been checked for coronavirus, though the number includes second blood samples taken from the same persons and does not include additional samples the Institute is expecting to arrive.