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Cases drop, safepass changes – Quarantine may be reduced in mid-March

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Smiles of optimism are shared within the epidemiological group by the continuous decline of cases, with the percentage of experts in favor of the implementation of new relaxations increasing day by day. Next Wednesday, the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee are expected to meet with the Minister of Health in order to suggest the next relaxations, which will be promoted by Michalis Hadjipandela at the Council of Ministers on Thursday. According to the first indications, the new relaxations will be implemented after the first fortnight of March, while it is not excluded that there may be differences regarding the use of safepass and quarantine. All this at a time when restrictions are changing for vaccinated travelers who no longer need PCR.

From 10 to 7 days

The improvement of the epidemiological picture of Cyprus is reflected in the fact that last Monday the Ministry of Health announced 2,800 new cases, while on Sunday the cases fell below 1,400, to be precise 1,387. The significant drop in new cases is even more apparent compared to the 3,400 cases detected on February 1st. Among the suggestions of the experts for new relaxations, it is not excluded to find the issue of reducing the quarantine. Yesterday, the member of the epidemiological team, Dr. Petros Karagiannis, expressed the opinion that the time has come to reduce the quarantine of the sick citizens. Asked if the quarantine reduction will be put on the table again, he said that he will go to Wednesday's meeting with a proposal to reduce the mandatory quarantine to 7 days. It is recalled that some of the experts have been suggesting the reduction of quarantine for a few weeks now, with some even believing that they can “fall” in as little as 5 days. In addition to the quarantine of cases, according to information from “P”, there is a suggestion to reduce the limitation of close contact of cases from 10 to 7 days. In fact, as a competent source told “P”, it is not ruled out that in mid-March the quarantine for close contacts will be reduced and at the end of the month the case reduction protocol will be changed.

Without safepass

The division of the premises according to their danger is expected to be locked at the Ministry on Thursday. As “P” is informed, the processes for the categorization of spaces-social activities are in the final stage. The three categories are low-risk areas, such as supermarkets, bakeries, retail, pharmacies, the second category is medium-risk areas, such as restaurants, cafes, workplaces, and the third category is high-risk areas, ie centers. entertainment and social events such as weddings and christenings. The categorization will largely judge the measures that will apply in each area, with the suggestion to completely remove the safepass from low-risk areas to gain ground. Experts recommend the abolition of safepass passages in basic necessities, supermarkets, bakeries and pharmacies. According to what was stated yesterday by the member of the advisory scientific committee, Dr. Michalis Voniatis, the epidemiological data as they are formed in recent days favor the lifting of the measure, with him, in fact, promoting the abolition of safepass when entering shopping malls. At the same time, in areas of high risk, the presentation of safepass is considered a given. However, in Wednesday's meeting with epidemiologists, the protocol for the restaurants is expected to be re-evaluated. There are two parameters that may change. One concerns the 15-hour test, which may be lifted and the 24-hour test valid in an effort to simplify protocols. The second parameter that will be discussed again concerns the mandatory submission of a negative test in music and dance centers for vaccinated people. The reactions of the triple-vaccinated citizens seem to be troubling epidemiologists, with some of them suggesting lifting the measure for those who received the booster dose.

Third dose

< Another issue that may concern the Minister on Thursday is the administration of the third or otherwise booster dose to citizens aged 12-17. It is reminded that a booster dose has been granted in our country to people over 18 years of age since last September, with experts noting all this time that they will wait for the opinion of the European Medicines Agency before giving the green light to minors. Yesterday, Coreper announced the approval of the Pfizer vaccine for booster dosing in adolescents aged 12 years. At the local level, the issue is handled by the National Vaccination Authority, while it is not ruled out that relevant announcements will be made on Thursday.

Source: politis.com.cy

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