An online meeting will be held today at 19.00, the Advisory Epidemiological Committee, during which they will discuss the methodology of relaxation, said to KYPE the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Cyprus, Chairman of the Special Committee of the Pancyprian Medical Association member of the Scientific Team, Maria Koliou.
Asked what they will discuss during today's meeting, Ms. Koliou said that the first issue on the agenda is the methodology of the relaxations, that is, how they will be done, when they will be done, with what parameters they will be done and with what tactics we will follow.
“Today, some basic lines will be laid, which will be followed for de-escalation and, I imagine, indicators will be included. Beyond that, of course the final decisions, first of all will not be taken by us, everything we put down will be put under the approval of the Ministry of Health and of course, the final decisions are from both the Ministry and the Council of Ministers “, He added.
No total lifting
Asked if we are talking about a total or gradual lifting of the measures, Ms. Koliou said that the lifting of the measures will definitely not be complete, noting that it will definitely be gradual and very careful and targeted.
“If we open everything now we will have a recurrence of the situation and we are still in winter,” he said, pointing to a further drop in temperature. “It will be very scary to return to the same situation. “It would be very dangerous to do something like that.”
Asked about individual protection measures, such as masks, distances, etc., Ms. Koliou said that they will probably continue until the summer, until the vaccination coverage goes up.
“It simply came to our notice then. First, do not approach too much this season. Second, the mask indoors where there are other people and third, good ventilation of the premises. Of course, at the moment, fortunately, not many people can gather, but mainly it is in the workplace now that there are dangers, that in vital services there are people who work together and that is where these measures should be observed. “Distance, that is, between people”, he noted.
For those who got sick
Asked if from the people who have been ill we have an indication if they have any problem left either respiratory or anything else, Mrs. Koliou said that this is something that has been confirmed by clinical studies abroad, but we see it here in Cyprus.
“Unfortunately, many people after their illness are left with respiratory problems to depression, fatigue – very important, around 60% have fatigue. These are facts from the literature that I tell you of course. No data have been recorded here in Cyprus so far. And of course those who have been intubated have a high percentage, around 60% again a chronic inability of the respiratory system to return because it is the respiratory tissue that gets permanent fibrosis, which now gives it problems for life. “It will not be like before if someone gets to this point,” he noted.
Therefore, continued Ms. Stomach, is a very bad virus and leaves a lot of residue.
“As far as I know, at least, about the neurological part and we are talking about insomnia, anxiety, depression, it is also studied by the University of Cyprus – there is a group – and I think there is still a group outside. We will see later the results that will emerge from our population, but they are definitely being monitored. Now as far as the respiratory part is concerned, I am not sure if the Cypriot patients are being monitored. At some point, I believe we will have data from there as well “, he added.
Answering a question how she sees the situation so far, Ms. Koliou said that we have two different landscapes, so different scenes.
“On the one hand it is the virus in the community that seems to have decreased significantly based on the degree of positivity of rapid tests, but also PCR, it seems that the virus activity in the community has fallen in all Provinces, with higher in terms of positivism in Limassol, but Limassol has also fallen. In other words, Limassol is on a good path. Now, beyond that, of course, the other parameter we have is the hospitals, which, as you can see, have not improved. On the contrary, our intensive care units continue to increase their fullness, as a result of which we are approaching the limit numbers that we do not want to reach “, he added. Therefore, continued Ms. Kolio, we have two opposite landscapes.
“On the one hand the activity of the virus in the community and on the other the fullness of the intensive care units, which unfortunately does not seem to be falling, on the contrary is rising. Of course, we have to say that the fullness of the hospitals follows the activity of the virus in the community for a few weeks. Therefore, this is very important to tell us that it will be followed by falls in the intensive care unit. “But so far we have not seen anything like that,” he added.
In an observation due to this increase, Ms. Koliou said that “I believe, first of all, that the elderly were initially affected and especially in the Retirement Homes, etc., where some incidents continue to be observed, of course much less than they were in the beginning”.
“We do not have those big chains that broke out a month and a half to two months ago. “Certainly this has improved and is generally due to the fact that the elderly people continue to be affected, that is, over 80. Because we know that they are usually the ones who end up in hospitals and intensive care units more often”, he noted.
For the treatment of a 17-year-old
Answering a question about a 17-year-old child who ended up in hospital, Ms. Koliou said that apparently the age of those who end up in the intensive care unit has dropped “and if we look at the middle age of those who end up in the intensive care unit is lower than those who are hospitalized, which means that the serious disease does not necessarily prefer the very elderly and the lesser elderly if they have underlying diseases “.
“So this is a situation that tells us that everyone should be careful. If I remember correctly, while the average age of hospital admissions is over 70 years, the average age of intensive care is 67 years. Therefore, we see that even younger people are hospitalized in the intensive care unit. That is, they suffer from a serious illness. Therefore, we need attention, a lot of attention and of course we must in every way be able to achieve the increase of vaccination coverage, especially in old age “, he added.
Asked if we have any indications of how well the vaccine responds to those who have received it, Ms. “We have not seen in trials if anyone who has been vaccinated gets sick,” he said, adding that “we know from clinical trials that the protection offered by the vaccine two weeks after the first dose reaches 60%, and then of course, 10 days after the second dose exceeds 90% “.
“Therefore, there is significant protection even with the first dose of the vaccine and it is what is exploited in other countries that enter the road race to vaccinate even with one dose as many elderly people as possible to achieve exactly the reduction of hospital admissions. “It's where they aim,” he said.
The new strain of the virus
Asked how worried they are about the new strain of the virus, which based on what is being spread internationally is more contagious but not so deadly, Ms. Koliou said it is not worse in terms of the severity of the infection.
“At this point it is a fact that no such thing has been found. It is more contagious and when it is transmitted to more people, it will definitely hit large groups of the population as well. Therefore, it is indirectly that both the problems and the admissions to the Hospitals will increase. That is, the more infected, the higher the percentage of older people who will be affected. Today, for example, we know that we have 20% of all those affected who are people over 60, while at the beginning of the pandemic this percentage was only 9%. “Therefore, when the number of people who get sick in groups over 60 and especially over 80, you realize that the admissions to the Hospitals, the serious illness, also increase, all this goes accordingly”, he concluded.