Epidemiologists: Measures in force at Christmas - Everything that was said

Nikolopoulos: "The data at the moment show that there is a charge in Famagusta, followed by Larnaca and Nicosia. There is an increasing trend but it is not sharp and that is encouraging. "

DB4BF4A7 0BC4 4D23 9647 D0DDFF49936D Coronavirus, NATIONAL REPORT, epidemiological picture

The assessment that it is still too early to draw safe conclusions regarding the lifting of the measures in force at the moment, was expressed today by the Head of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Professor Konstantinos Tsiotis, the Advisor to the Minister of Health and member of the TEU, Ms. Zoi. Dorothea Pana and the President of the Technical Committee for the categorization of countries and member of the TEU Mr. George Nikolopoulos.


Speaking during a press conference, Mr. Tsioutis reminded that the measures that are now in force "are targeted and based on the data we had studied in the previous weeks". The situation throughout Cyprus, he said, "was and still seems to be quite aggravated and when the measures were taken it was very aggravated especially in the two Provinces". At the moment, he stressed, "it is difficult in a single week to draw safe conclusions in order to decide on a change or lifting of measures."

"What is needed is a good timetable and a gradual de-escalation of measures, if of course we can safely see that we need to relax the measures, because we can not know what we will have next week," he said.

The measures that have been taken, "aimed at reducing the contacts, the reduction of the transmission between Provinces, especially from the very heavy Provinces to the rest, while the strengthening of the laboratory controls either with the quick diagnostic tests or with molecular examinations contributed" . At the same time, he continued, "we aimed to protect the vulnerable and protect the health system."

Regarding the transfers between the Provinces and the exceptions that have been given, Mr. Tsioutis stated that “the transfers must be done when they are absolutely necessary. This means that in addition to the control that every citizen is subjected to in order to move, he must also evaluate whether he must move and when he moves, he must be very careful in his movements ".

Mr. Tsioutis made a special reference to the workplaces, since as he underlined, “unfortunately we continue and see cases in the workplaces and mainly in the Provinces that have a less aggravated image. Therefore, stricter observance of the measures and the relevant protocols is required ".

In addition, "from what we have observed, people with symptoms should not go to work until they contact their Personal Physician and receive instructions. I say this because we continue to see people with symptoms going to work. "

Regarding the rapid tests, Mr. Tsioutis stated that "in the first phase, they are used for the control of the population and little by little they will be used for the control of specific groups, structures of increased risk. Now, the programs are in the form of general control to capture the situation, to identify in time people who are positive and should be limited. "There is a clear process and Cyprus is one of the few countries that then confirms the results of these tests with molecular examination."

Finally, “for hospitals to remind that there is an action plan. The aim is to provide care, but also to protect the operation of hospitals, because the more the beds are burdened, the more difficult the operation of other departments will be. So far we see a stable picture in hospitalizations. "But it is too early, I repeat, to draw safe conclusions about both hospitalization and ICUs."

The transmissibility index in the Provinces is different

For his part, Professor George Nikolopoulos presented the results of the updated national report on the pandemic, which covers the period until November 16.

"We are seeing a big wave in this second phase of the pandemic. We seem to have reached a peak, but we are still at high levels. "The average of seven days of the epidemic curve seems to be starting to move somewhat downwards", he explained.

However, "and we have explained that more than 150 cases per 100.000 population define an aggravated area, we see that this index continues to move high, but perhaps its rate is somewhat lower."

The distribution of new coronavirus cases, based on age, "shows us 36 years". 15% are young people and 15% are people over 60 years old. "What is happening in the group of people who are over 60 years old, we are very concerned. "There was an increase, now it seems to be stabilizing somewhat."

Regarding the epidemiological picture presented by the various Provinces, Mr. Nikolopoulos stated that "in Paphos there is a clear decrease in the epidemic curve, Limassol shows a slight improvement and the other Provinces seem to have a burden at the moment. But we can not have a complete picture, we must wait to have the data of this week, in order to have a clearer picture of the situation ".

"The data at the moment show that there is a burden in Famagusta, followed by Larnaca and Nicosia. "There is an increasing trend but it is not sharp and that is encouraging", Mr. Nikolopoulos pointed out.

Regarding the hospitalization rate, Mr. Nikolopoulos explained that "it has dropped to 6%". He added, at the same time, that "a second wave of imports has been created, we seem to have reached a high average, nine imports per day. Now it starts to go down a bit, but that means nothing, but we keep it positive. We cannot say its course from now on ".

Regarding the deaths of patients with coronavirus, Mr. Nikolopoulos stated that "last week was the worst in the Republic of Cyprus". Nevertheless, "even now Cyprus maintains a good lead over other countries."

Regarding the transmissibility index, Mr. Nikolopoulos stated that in Cyprus it is below 1. However, it differs in the different Provinces. In Limassol it is close to 1, Paphos is moving very low, the other three provinces are between 1: 1.1 and 1: 1.2, ie it shows an increasing trend ".

"As for the forecasts for the next days, we will continue to see three-digit numbers and this may mean a change in hospitalizations," said Mr. Nikolopoulos.

Maybe in the first wave we found only 1/3 of the positives

Answering a relevant question regarding the epidemic curve that Cyprus presents in the 1st and 2nd wave of the pandemic, Mr. Tsioutis stated that "it is very likely that the height of the 1st wave, as shown, does not reflect reality. Do not forget that our possibilities for controls at that time were somewhat limited ".

Mr. Nikolopoulos in turn stated that "in the 1st pandemic wave obviously, because the possibilities in tests were limited, as we have seen in the base of some models, it seems that we diagnosed 1/3 of the cases".

Asked about the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic, Mr. Tsioutis estimated that "if we manage and control in the coming weeks what exists now, there is a chance to see something like this again in January or February. Of course, the readiness should be more increased, but it is not excluded that we will have something else again at the beginning of 3 ".

Adding to what Mr. Tsioutis said, Mr. Nikolopoulos said that "now we have the hopeful message about vaccines. But what I would say is that now we have to put more emphasis on the wave of hospitalizations than the wave of laboratory diagnoses, because in Cyprus the laboratory diagnoses due to the tumor, had a problem in tracking and we probably lost some positive cases ".

It is too early to draw conclusions about lifting measures

Asked about the case of the province of Paphos, Mr. Tsioutis said that "during the decision to take measures, Paphos was burdened in terms of epidemiological indicators and some other parameters. It was quite high and higher than the ratio 150 / 100.000 ". So, "precisely because of these remarks, we judged that the measures should have been strict in Paphos as well as in Limassol, where of course the indicators were much higher. Nevertheless, we saw a noticeable improvement in Paphos, we saw a percentage of the rapid diagnosis quite low. It is still marginal and just because only a week has passed it is not very safe to draw a conclusion and say that we are now going to lift measures ".

"In order to be safer," he added, "we will wait another week, anyway we are approaching the November 30 timetable and we are already discussing what the course of measures can be, either more strictly or more loosely depending on our conclusions." underlined Mr. Tsioutis.

For the Province of Nicosia, Mr. Nikolopoulos gave an answer stating that "Nicosia shows an increasing trend, as well as Larnaca and Famagusta and with the data we have we find that fortunately we do not have a sharp increase, but it is gradual. Beyond that, when you study an epidemic you see the individual. The analysis, which will affect the interventions afterwards, will be at the beginning of next week, so that this week can be completed and we can see where it moved ".

Based on the data that will emerge in the next presentations

Answering questions about the thoughts of scientists regarding the continuation or not of the measures and restrictions and after the expiration of the existing decrees on November 30, Mr. Tsioutis stated that "we are making a plan for what we will suggest for November 30. . The horizon is to be able to be in good shape at Christmas, but to emphasize that we must not maintain the impression that at Christmas we will be relaxed and without measures. It will be a period of great danger, especially in the matter of gatherings of the number of people, etc. This period may be the starting point for a new wave. Certainly in our time horizon is to be in a much better condition. It all depends on how well we manage to keep what is being implemented now. We, as a scientific committee, can not rule out anything and we can not see financial parameters and therefore the decisions are taken by the Government. If there is a serious problem in Nicosia, we do not rule out anything. "I do not know if that would be possible."

"The universal ban is something that we know has worked and will be an easy solution that will pay off," said Nikolopoulos, adding that "it is difficult to maintain economic activity, social life and the epidemic in control at the same time ".

Concluding, Mr. Nikolopoulos stressed that "it is not only the prohibitions and restrictions that are other measures that can help us, such as the use of a mask. I have said it again, the mask can reduce deaths by 50% ".

Source: Sigmalive