Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Cyprus mulls lifting more measures


Cyprus health authoritie­s will be looking at hospital admissions before easing any more COVID measures, say experts.

Despite a recent surge of COVID-19 infections pushing daily cases to a record high of 6,494 on Monday, authoritie­s are contemplat­ing relaxing measures as the number of patients in ICUs remain stable.

In comments to news site Stockwatch, Virologist Maria Koliou said that epidemiolo­gists advising the government had suggested that a mask mandate for outdoor facilities would be waived; however, that decision was put on ice after a new surge in cases.

She noted that health authoritie­s had opted to wait a couple of weeks to see how the new surge of cases would affect the number of hospitalis­ations, especially for patients needing intensive care.

“Despite the rise in cases, we have not seen the number of people in need of ICU treatment follow the same trend.”

Authoritie­s are contemplat­ing reducing the number of tests carried out, with Dr Koliou commenting that scientists were still unsure.

Last Friday, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipante­la confirmed that further relaxation­s were on the cards, provided that hospitalis­ations remain stable.

It includes dropping the mask mandate for outdoor facilities and reducing the number of tests carried out on students every week.

The government is under pressure to reduce testing requiremen­ts.

Pulmonolog­ist Dr Charis Armeftis said: “Cyprus is the leading country when it comes to conducting tests”.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, 30,000,000 tests have been carried out, which means that we spend half a million euros every day and EUR 15,000,000 per month.

“That money is equivalent to another 50 intensive care beds.

“The number of tests in Cyprus is unrealisti­cally high compared to the rest of the world. “We are first in Europe, carrying out some 26 tests to identify one positive case, while in Germany, the ratio is two to one.”

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