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22 July, 2024
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'The situation as it is is slightly worrying' -Voniatis

The arrival of the omicron variant in Cyprus is just a matter of time

Source: CNA

"The situation as it is so far is slightly worrying," said epidemiologist Dr. Michalis Voniatis to KYPE, adding that with the arrival of Omicron in Cyprus, which according to him is just a matter of time, the cases will skyrocket to four-digit numbers.

Dr. Voniatis said that now, "unfortunately the situation is not improving, it remains somewhat on an upward trajectory and this is slightly worrying because we have more hospitalizations and loss of human lives.  On the other hand, things have not gotten out of hand or out of control, they are manageable."

The course of the pandemic in general around the world will depend on the Omicron strain, for which, according to Dr. Voniatis, we still do not have all the data, and cannot know if it will or will not cause serious reactions in those that catch it.

"There have been no serious cases in South Africa requiring hospitalization and treatment with oxygen, intubation or death, but let us not forget that the population of South Africa is younger than in Europe so we do not yet have convincing evidence that this strain will not cause serious illness.  But it's not just whether or not it causes a serious illness, it's a matter of the numbers of people it can infect, considering that omicron's speed of transmission is high."

"At the moment in Cyprus, we have around 500-600 cases per day. If case numbers rise to 1500 with 95% not being seriously ill, we will still have about 5% who are likely to get seriously ill.  With the Omicron mutation, there is a possibility that the number of cases will rise but so far we do not have the Omicron mutation in Cyprus. Although, it is only a matter of time before it arrives in Cyprus.  It may already be among us but has not been detected yet," he added.

When asked whether we would have an increase in Delta cases, he responded with a 'no', because, as he noted, we have a lot of people vaccinated.

Asked if there will be additional measures at Christmas, Dr. Voniatis said that this will become clear in the next one or two weeks. "If things remain as they are, no additional measures are needed."

Cyprus  |  covid  |  omicron

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