Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou told CNA on Saturday that the epidemiological picture regarding the coronavirus is clearly better, but the danger still remains.
In statements ahead of Monday`s relaxation of restrictions, imposed on the 10th of January, the Minister said that
the improved epidemiological picture allows us to proceed to the next phase of the relaxation of the restrictive measures, as determined by a team of experts from various Ministries, based on the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee and taking into account a combination of social, psychological and economic factors.
Replying to CNA questions, he said that the easing of restrictions on Monday with the opening of commerce, the return of a significant number of pupils to schools and the increase to 50% of employees in services, is an important step.
“We want this step to be as controlled as possible. The epidemiological picture is clearly improved but the risk remains” he said, noting that in order to avoid a new lockdown, as it is the case in many other European countries, citizens, employers and employees, who will be returning to their workplace, must all follow the health protocols and show great caution.
The Minister of Health said that with the gradual relaxation of the restrictions an increase in cases is expected and for this reason the plan is based on three pilars, control with rapid tests, observance of health protocols and vaccinations.
Regarding vaccinations, he said that the increased number of vaccines that will be received after the approval of AstraZeneca`s vaccine, will allow Cyprus to proceed with its vaccination plan at a faster pace.
He recalled that vaccinations in care homes have been completed and said that the goal is to complete by the end of February the vaccinations of health professionals and people over 75 years of age, followed by the vulnerable groups.