Karagiannis: Increase in the number of cases due to BA5-Controlled situation

Significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases is currently observed in Cyprus due to the penetration into the community of the Omicron BA5 variant

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A significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases is currently observed in Cyprus due to the penetration into the community of the Omicron BA5 subtype, says in KYPE, the member of the Advisory Scientific Committee, Professor of Microbiology / Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia, Nicosia taking personal protection measures.

"We knew that five weeks ago when the tracking team gave us some information that we had BA5 in Cyprus but it represented less than 1% of the cases. The rest was the BA2 sub-variant ", he said.

In three or four weeks, he added, "it has increased to 19%, according to the data they gave us ten days ago, so with the number of cases we are hearing at the moment, this may have increased by more than 40%."

This increasing trend is recorded in many European countries, noted Dr. Karagiannis. "Currently, many European countries are experiencing an increase in the number of their cases, which is attributed to the two Omicron sub-variants known as BA4 and BA5, which previously had an increase in cases in South Africa and the Americas," he said. "Now, these two variants have penetrated the European area initially in Portugal, which had an excellent epidemiological picture, France, Germany, England, Italy, Greece, Israel and Cyprus," he added.

Answering a question, he said that the situation is under control in Cyprus as well as in other European countries. "Some countries are two months ahead of the exodus. The number of patients had increased in the USA. It seems that both of these strains are transmitted much more easily, mainly BA5 and cause some more serious symptoms. BA5 may also progress to the lower respiratory tract, which is not pleasant. In addition, they seem to escape more of immunity, whether it has come from a natural disease or from vaccinations ", he noted. "On the other hand, it seems that vaccinations prevent serious hospitalizations even if someone is infected," he added.

He noted that with the two Omicron variants, re-infections are more common. "We see it in Cyprus as well, the re-infections were stable around 15%, in the coming days we will see this percentage rise", he observed.

"To limit this spread, it is good to apply self-protection measures and especially the use of the mask indoors that despite the fact that there was a recommendation for its use, few wear it," he said. Dr. Karagiannis estimated that "the interiors will prove to be problematic if they continue with the same pattern". "It is not a problem to wear the mask indoors for a while and then take it off," he said.

Asked if the restrictions will return, he said that "at the moment I do not see it unless the number of hospitalizations increases to an extremely high degree, which again I do not think."

He pointed out that due to the increase in cases during this period, the situation must be closely monitored. "Those who are positive should be limited and should not come into contact with family members in order to avoid family transmissions and also to be careful in meetings. "Handshakes, kisses give and take in social gatherings something that should not be done", he pointed out.

Regarding the situation that will prevail in September, Dr. Karagiannis expressed the hope that by September we will have passed this upsurge. "We will not climb too high, with a little care from all of us we will avoid high numbers of cases. "We need personal responsibility to reduce cases," he added.

Source: KYPE