Dr Petros Karayiannis, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, told CNA that there is still a risk for a third wave of the coronavirus in Cyprus, but noted that it is up to us to avoid it, by limiting a widespread domestic transmission of the virus.

“The risk is there for a third wave, of course. What causes uncertainty is the possibility of the spread of mutant strains. The risk is there, we see what happened to other European countries. To avoid a third wave we have to limit the domestic transmission of the virus. So it is up to us to avoid it” he said and stressed the importance of the measure implemented recently as regards mass antigen rapid tests for the workforce.

Karayiannis said that yesterday`s number of coronavirus cases is encouraging.

“There seems to be a decrease. We are in the second week after the relaxation of measures and by the end of this week, or beginning of next week, we should see if there was a problem due to these relaxations”, he noted.

He added that depending on the epidemiological picture, we should be able to proceed to further relaxation of measures soon, noting that it is possible that next week the government will ask for the opinion of the scientific committee.

He said that the situation will normalise as we move towards the spring and summer months when the weather will allow people to avoid indoor spaces. The increase of the rate of vaccination coverage will also be of help, he added.

The vaccination plan is progressing rapidly, there are no delays and whatever doses are available they are administered, he went on to say.

Karayiannis expressed hope that Johnson & Johnson, which submitted an application for approval, will soon be given authorisation so that one more vaccine is at our disposal.

He pointed out that fewer doses have been ordered from Johnson & Johnson but said that if the company has more stock then it is up to the European Union to increase the number of vaccines. Furthermore he said that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V will also ask for approval.

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