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31 May, 2024
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Virus expert says Cyprus is doing it wrong

Nicosia lab owner points to Safe Pass design flaws, highlights importance of antibody tests


Daily cases continue to rise in the Republic of Cyprus with officials pleading with the public to adhere to health protocols, but a local expert in the private sector says the government is doing it all wrong.

Pavlos Neophytou, a geneticist who owns a lab in west Nicosia, says conditions and quality of rapid tests conducted in Cyprus are not up to standards.

Neophytou, whose views were published by Philenews, pointed to a lack of proper supervision at testing centers as well as failure to adhere to regulations.

“Of course there are false positives and false negatives because of this,” Neophytou said.

The expert, who is also the coordinator at Mendel Center for Biomedical Sciences, listed a number of preconditions necessary to ensure valid results, such as quality of test kits, correct procedure by trained staff, climate-controlled conditions with room temperature, as well as checks carried out by an external provider.

Neophytou said citizens who received false positives or failed to build up immunity may continue to move about in public without a care in the world while in reality they are not immune

Neophytou said last year he had proposed to the Cypriot government to provide free of charge services for external assessment to validate rapid test results and give feedback but he was turned down.

According to the expert, the current Safe Pass protocol used by the health ministry is faulty when it comes to unvaccinated people who have been recorded by the government as having been infected and subsequently recovered.

Neophytou said there are citizens who received false positives or failed to build up immunity and they continue to move about in public without a care in the world while in reality they are not immune.

“There should have been frequent antibody tests within the general public to check for immunity and determine the level within the population,” Neophytou said, noting that the health ministry could achieve this by cooperating with licensed clinical laboratories.

The expert also said people who got infected and recovered from the coronavirus are immune for life, noting further that a Safe Pass in those cases should be valid for at least 5 years with the possibility of renewal.

Daily COVID cases on Tuesday rose to 827 in the Republic of Cyprus while no deaths were recorded. The positivity rate reached 1.99%., while a total of 89 patients were receiving treatment in state hospitals, 26 of whom in a serious condition.

Cypriot health officials have been urging the public to get vaccinated, focusing on young people who appeared to be the majority in recent cases but mostly unvaccinated.

Charalambos Charilaou, spokesperson for State Health Services Organization, said fewer serious hospitalizations recently along with no deaths from COVID was the result of the elderly getting vaccinated.

“In the past people would not make it, now they get treated and go home,” Charilaou said.

The health ministry does not provide the vaccination status of those hospitalized, but officials at times suggested the majority of patients did not have the vaccine.

Cyprus  |  NIcosia  |  pandemic  |  antibody  |  Safe Pass  |  Pavlos Neophytou  |  rapid test

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