The fifth wave of the Covid pandemic fuelled by the Omicron variant is estimated to peak by the second or third week of January, Maria Koliou Assistant Professor of Paediatrics and Virology and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Covid, told CNA on Friday.
 
Koliou also noted that there’s a high possibility for the Cyprus health system to be put under more strain due to the Omicron variant’s higher transmission rate.
 
“We estimate that the (fifth) wave will peak by the second or third week of January followed by a decline in the very high daily cases,” Koliou said.
 
However, she noted that Cyprus high vaccination coverage plays an important role in the situation of the island’s health system.
 
Koliou recalled that the advent of Omicron has coincided with an already burdened health system due to the infections with the Delta variant, noting that there is a possibility the public hospitals will be further burdened.
 
Certainly, she pointed out, “the situation as it stands is that we have an average to high vaccination rate”, adding that “we compare favourably with other EU countries and I would stress in particular the booster dose rate.” “I would encourage people who are entitled to the booster shot to have it. ” she said.
 
Koliou also noted that is evident that the third shot protects very effectively from serious infection by Omicron, adding that second dose also protects before the expiry of six months since its administration.
 
Responding to a question on hospital admittances, Koliou said the committee will receive more data next week.
 
“We know there is a latency period from the point of increase of infections in the community until admittances rise and therefore, we have the coming days to observe this,” she said.

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