ECDC expert: The epidemiological course of Cyprus is very good

In 4th place from 30 European countries

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The epidemiological picture and vaccination coverage of Cyprus is very good and deserves congratulations, said on Monday night the expert from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Dr. Agoritsa Baka, who was the keynote speaker at the 7th Pancyprian Conference Of Health, to which the Minister of Health, Michalis Hadjipandelas addressed a greeting.

The Pancyprian Public Health Conference, of the Cyprus International Institute for Environmental and Public Health of the School of Health Sciences of TEPAK, was organized online this year, on the course of the measures taken to deal with the pandemic at a pan-European level and the implications for society.

In her speech, Dr. Baka referred to the epidemiological picture of Europe, based on the latest risk assessment, which puts Cyprus, together with France, in the 4th best position out of 30 European countries with a score of 3.2 (level of concern), while in first place, with the lowest index, is Malta (2.3), followed by Italy (2.5) and Spain (2.7).

Romania, which, as Dr. Baca pointed out, has one of the lowest vaccination coverage, is going through its worst period, as it is at the highest risk index (10) while other Eastern European countries, such as Latvia (9.0), also have high levels. Estonia and Lithuania (8.7) and Bulgaria (8.0).

As he explained, the index gathers the impact, the positivity, the cases in the elderly, the hospitalizations and the deaths, while according to the forecasts it is expected that in the next 14 days there will be an increase in the indices of several countries.

"Europe's overall picture of new cases remains high but stable. "Overall, the death toll remains low, but slightly rising and we are seeing large age groups rise in impact," he added.

At the same time, the ECDC expert said that "Cyprus is doing very well", praising the "very good vaccination coverage", while expressing the hope that this will continue.

Among other things, he said that, according to the data declared by the countries last week, 74,4% of the adult population of Europe has been vaccinated, however, he noted that there is a great variation between countries, since in some the vaccination coverage is close to 24% and in others close to 90%.

The ECDC team continued, in its latest risk assessment, states that countries with below-average vaccination coverage have a very high risk of pressures on their health systems from September to November, while noting that "non-pharmaceutical measures "should remain in the quiver of public health authorities, depending on the epidemiological picture of each country.

Dr. Baka also referred to the various decisions taken at European level on the pandemic, including the possibility of a visit of a team from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention to the countries "to certify the stage of their own preparedness plans, in particular in relation to with the Covid-19».

"Despite the information that countries are reacting to this, he pointed out, 'there should be discussions about what countries want from the ECDC to do,'" he said, adding that countries with their capabilities determine what we should produce and tell us. what is what they need from us and what is what served them best, to see what we will do for the future ".

The Commissioner for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Despo Michailidou-Livaniou, referred to the conclusions of the evaluation carried out on the effects of the pandemic and the restrictions on children.

The Commissioner presented part of the evaluation results, which has not yet been officially announced and which was carried out in cooperation with the European Network of Commissioners for Children and UNICEF, between January - August 2021.

In order to carry out the evaluation, he pointed out, the content of the 73 decrees adopted by the Council of Ministers since March 2020 was studied and a bibliographic review was carried out, while the positions of 3.320 children in Cyprus, aged 3 to 8 years, 61 professionals and three parents were taken. .

The evaluation results were divided into six pillars concerning health, education, adequate living standards, play, leisure and recreation, protection from all forms of violence, family life, alternative care and individual rights and freedoms. .

Specifically, among other things, there is a decrease in the levels of physical and physical activity of children, excessive use of computers, especially by older children and adolescents, resulting in headaches and vision problems.

Also, during the pandemic, children experienced the feeling of lost childhood and the loss of experiences, were deprived of socialization, play, while they experienced increased levels of stress due to the prevailing instability, while negative effects are recorded by distance education. .

The assessment also records increased tensions within the family unit that children are called upon to deal with, increased signs of aggression and fatigue in the general child population, increased reports of domestic or sexual abuse, increased reports of cyberbullying and violent cyberbullying.

The purpose of the inquiry was not to impose responsibilities, the Commissioner noted, but to document the impact of the measures, to identify the necessary adjustments and further recommendations that will help to make decisions, in order to respect the principle of proportionality and necessity, with respect of sometimes conflicting rights.

The speaker at the Conference was also the President of the National Bioethics Committee of Cyprus, Professor and Senior Vice Rector of the University of Nicosia, Dr. Konstantinos Fellas, who presented the social dimension of the pandemic, focusing on the "silent pandemic of mourning" and the social ECDC Social Behavior Expert Dr. John Kinsman.

The Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipandelas addressed a short greeting at the meeting, who stated that with his participation, he conveys his personal will and readiness of the Ministry, to continue and strengthen the cooperation with TEPAK, the health services provided ".

Saying that, in Cyprus, the pandemic struck at a particular time when the country took the first firm steps with the introduction of GESS, Mr. Hatzipandelas noted that "through targeted actions and the advice and expertise of reputable scientists from academia "Cyprus has managed, so far, to have the least losses, protecting the health system".

In these modern challenges, he continued, today's conference is an important scientific bulwark, where scientifically substantiated recommendations for the effective treatment of the pandemic are examined and given.

"The findings of the research, especially those with data concerning the Cypriot reality, strengthen the targeted treatment and strengthen the good cooperation of the Ministry of Health with the scientists", he added.

Finally, he stressed that, through the pandemic, it became clear that there is a constant need to upgrade health services, that the money given for this assistance is an investment and not an expense and that quality and high-quality health services, with human recipients, create strong health systems and a healthy society.