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20 May, 2024
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Steady COVID-19 cases at 1,000 weekly, health official reports

Health Director Elizabeth Constantinou assesses Eris variant as low-risk but cautions on Autumn return


The Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Elizabeth Constantinou, revealed that the number of new coronavirus cases in Cyprus maintains stability, averaging around 1,000 cases weekly. Constantinou's statement comes amid concerns about the Eris coronavirus variant, now present in over 50 countries, including Cyprus. Constantinou categorized the Eris variant as low-risk, relying on European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data, stating it does not raise significant alarms.

Responding to inquiries regarding recent case increases, Constantinou affirmed that there has been no notable surge compared to the preceding weeks. "Stability in the number of cases persists, with an average of about a thousand cases a week," she conveyed.

Notably, July witnessed an increase, yet data from August 4 to 10, 2023 (latest available) reflects a maintained equilibrium, with an average of roughly a thousand cases per week.

Constantinou clarified that random spot checks ceased with the pandemic's end, but monitoring of indicators and trends continues. She highlighted data collection from the hospital and geriatric clinic visits, emphasizing adherence to basic protective measures for vulnerable groups in Cyprus, which include mask usage and a negative 72-hour rapid test in healthcare facilities and closed spaces.

Updates regarding positive sample sequencing are expected later today, encompassing the week of August 11 to 17, 2023. As for the Eris variant, accounting for 5% of Cyprus' positive Covid-19 cases, Constantinou affirmed that despite its prevalence, the variant doesn't appear to alter clinical presentation significantly.

With the impending autumn and students returning to schools, Constantinou anticipates the Eris variant's swift transmission, mirroring global trends. While the ECDC shows no major concern about this variant's impact, Constantinou expects it to become the prevalent strain without drastically changing the clinical symptomatology.

Plans for any fall outbreaks will be discussed upon officials' return from vacation, with no current cause for concern, Constantinou assured. Additionally, other viral infections, including influenza and RSV, demonstrate low activity based on official data.

Hospital admissions, a key metric, reflect a reduction, with 28 new admissions reported in the week of August 4 to 10, 2023, compared to 49 in the preceding week. Notably, Intensive Care Unit admissions for the same period remained at zero, signaling a potential positive trend in the battle against COVID-19.

Cyprus  |  covid  |  health  |  numbers

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