There is a stability in the number of new COVID cases in Cyprus, a Ministry of Health official told CNA on Friday.
In statements to CNA, Elisabeth Constantinou, Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health said "stability is reflected in the number of new coronavirus cases", adding that according to official data, an average of about a thousand new cases are recorded per week.
Replying to Cyprus News Agency questions, in connection with the new variant of the coronavirus, Eris, that has already been detected in more than 50 countries, including Cyprus, Constantinou described it as a low-risk variant, explaining that the data shared by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) "do not cause particular concern."
Asked if there has been an increase in cases in recent weeks, Constantinou replied that there does not appear to be a significant increase compared to previous weeks. She said, "there is stability in the number of cases," and added that on average, there are about a thousand cases per week.
She noted that an increase had been observed in July, however, according to the latest data for the week of August 4th to 10th, 2023 there is stability, with approximately a thousand cases on average per week.
Constantinou clarified that after the end of the pandemic, the Ministry of Health no longer conducts random sampling tests. Nevertheless, she said that they monitor certain indicators and numbers to understand the trend.
She also said the Ministry of Health gathers data from cases that are detected after visits to hospitals or homes. She added that in Cyprus, the basic measures for vulnerable groups, such as mask-wearing and negative rapid tests within 72 hours in hospitals, elderly care homes, and enclosed facilities, are still maintained.
Constantinou also said that on Friday afternoon, the updated data from the new aggregation of positive samples for the week of August 11th to 17th, 2023, is expected to be released to the public.
Regarding the four cases of the new variant of the Eris coronavirus that have been detected in Cyprus, Constantinou said that they account for 5% of the positive cases for Covid-19 in Cyprus.
When asked if there are reasons for concern for the Autumn, especially with the return of students to schools, Constantinou said that what has been observed in other countries is the rapid transmission of this strain, and she noted that this is expected to follow suit in Cyprus as well.
She explained that the ECDC "does not appear to be particularly concerned about this variant of Covid," adding that "so far, the data show that while it will prevail, meaning it will be the strain we find more frequently among positive cases, the clinical picture does not seem to change, and there will not be a significant increase in clinical symptoms.
Asked whether the Ministry of Health has a plan for managing a potential resurgence in the coming autumn, the Director of Medical Services said that a meeting will be convened once all relevant parties return from their summer vacations, during which they will evaluate and take decisions. She emphasized that all available data must be considered and assessed. She stated, 'at present, there is no reason for concern."
Furthermore, she indicated that the Ministry of Health will evaluate all the available data and regarding other viral infections, such as the flu virus, common colds, and RSV, which is judged to be low based on official statistics.
Replying to another question, she said that the number of new hospital admissions was significantly reduced compared to the previous week. According to official data for the week of August 4th to 10th, 2023, there were 28 new admissions, whereas in the preceding week, 49 new admissions had been recorded.
Additionally, there were zero admissions to Intensive Care Units during the week of August 4th to 10th, 2023.
Source: Cyprus News Agency