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M. Koliou: Next steps to be determined depending on unfolding epidemiological situation in Cyprus

12/08/2020 14:50

The present situation regarding the transmission of coronavirus in the community is causing no particular concern, however, we will be in a position to draw safe conclusions once we see how the situation unfolds in the next couple of days, Assistant Professor of Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Cyprus Medical School and Chairwoman of the Special Committee of the Pancyprian Medical Association dealing with coronavirus, Maria Koliou, told CNA. Our next steps will be determined, depending on how the situation unfolds in the next few days, she added.

Koliou, a member of the Ministry of Health’s scientific advisory committee, said that the important thing right now is to keep the curve’s downward trend stable and called on people to cooperate again with the authorities and adhere to self-protection measures.

Asked if the 25 new cases and one death, that were announced on Tuesday in Cyprus, are worrisome, Koliou said that there are fluctuations in the curve. “What matters is to stabilize the downward trend,” she said and pointed to future results. If we see double digit cases, over 20, then this is worrisome and it means that something is actually happening, but if the number of cases drops to under 15 and this trend continues, then this means that we had a normal fluctuation, she added.

The high number of cases announced on Tuesday does not mean that the situation got out of hand, but that the situation is yet not stable, said the Assistant Professor in a reply to a relevant question.

She said that we may not see the number of cases dropping to zero but “we can drop cases bellow 5, as long as we try.” The key to success is people cooperating with authorities, she added.

The time ahead of us is crucial, as it will allow authorities to draw safer conclusions, Koliou went on.

The member of the scientific advisory committee said that they will have another meeting with the Health Minister in the beginning of next week, in order to review the epidemiological situation and discuss the next steps.

Asked if there are any thoughts about taking stricter measures, Koliou said that this will depend on developments until next week and decisions will be taken accordingly.

She also said that new health protocols are being prepared ahead of autumn.

As for the new school year and the return of pupils to their classrooms, Koliou said that the relevant protocol will be prepared by the end of August, taking into account the prevailing situation. “We have several scenarios on the table. One scenario is to have a few children in class on rotation, the second and more remote scenario is to have all children in class simultaneously with self-protection measures in force, but again this will depend on developments by the end of August. The third scenario is to have online courses,” she concluded.