CIVID19: President meets scientists on stricter measures

With the government unable to rule out a Christmas lockdown, President will meet his COVID advisors Tuesday to assess if current measures need to be tightened rather than loosened.

The meeting to analyse the data takes place ahead of decisions that need to be taken before the current 9 pm curfew and early 7 pm closing for hospitality expires.

Head of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Constantinos Tsioutis told CNA that the members of the team will make suggestions and explain the reasoning behind them.

They will listen to the concerns expressed by the authorities and give a detailed explanation of the epidemiological data.

He said that Cyprus must return to the indicators recorded in September when it was the safest country in Europe.

Since then it has recorded the worst month on record for cases and deaths in November while December threatens to surpass that milestone.

At the end of September, Cyprus registered 1,755 cases, it now has 12,867.

Asked if a lockdown would be imposed in case the situation deteriorated further, Tsioutis said it was a “remote possibility” but couldn’t rule it out.

Tsioutis told CNA there is a slight improvement in the epidemiological picture of Cyprus but the situation remains “critical”.

He urged the public to limit contacts, as this and other measures seem to be working.

Tsioutis said the Committee will suggest to keep the measures as they are and to discuss, based on recent, whether to take some stricter measures in the areas where there are more problems.

After local lockdowns in Limassol and Paphos, cases in those towns subsided but there has been a spike in Nicosia and Larnaca that has worried officials.

Earlier Tuesday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said there was no room for relaxing the measures after a record surge of new cases on Monday (416).

Ioannou said: “We are deeply concerned, given that despite the measures taken so far, the Cyprus picture has not improved to the desired degree.”

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