The epidemiologists are the ones who will decide what will happen with the plan of adjustment of the measures, pointed out, among others, the Minister of Health Michalis Hatzipandelas yesterday, essentially throwing the ball to the epidemiological team regarding the future of safepass. The biggest issue that experts are asked to manage at this stage is whether they will be tested and vaccinated to be allowed to enter certain places, such as nightclubs. The consultations for the preparation of the special protocol of the Ministry of Health, on the basis of which the entertainment centers are called to operate, are in the final stage, with the final decisions to be taken on Monday after the minister's meeting with the epidemiologists. The epidemiological picture of the country may have improved significantly in recent weeks, however, Cyprus remains in the deep red in terms of the ECDC map, with experts and the Ministry of Health remaining vigilant, knowing how easily they can be overthrown. the data.
As it seems, the entrance to nightclubs “locks” with a negative rapid test of 24 hours power and by keeping distances between the tables. As for the dances, what is preferred is to be allowed in centers that can accommodate 100 people and more. The issue of dance was evaluated as very important by the owners of entertainment centers who stated from time to time that without dancing there is no reason to visit their businesses, as a result of which they are even forced to put a padlock. Over the past two days, the Minister of Health, Michalis Hadjipandelas, held meetings with the owners of nightclubs and other authorities to hear their suggestions on what they believe should be included in the special protocol. A common concern is to avoid the spread of the virus and any “setback”, with both sides agreeing that relaxation should lead us safely to normalcy. There is, of course, agreement on the intention to draw up a passable protocol that will be simple to implement. According to “P”, several members of the epidemiological team are in favor of the mandatory test for entry to places where dancing will be allowed, since based on the categorization of places according to the risk of transmission of the virus, recreation centers are expected to fall into category 3, ie high risk.
One of the issues that seems to be of particular concern to the owners of leisure centers is the placement of workshops for on-site rapid testing. In the meetings they had with the Minister of Health, the businessmen seem to have defended the position for placing workshops outside the centers against free access. That is, the spectators to undergo a rapid test outside the center and to enter it without any other restrictions. Information, however, states that the Ministry of Health has clarified that such a thing is not possible, since, among other things, it provides for the operation of synergies on a 24-hour basis, which is impossible. There are practical difficulties in the implementation of this measure, while, at the same time, the question arises as to who will bear the cost of the tests, ie whether this will be covered by the Ministry of Health or by the entrepreneurs.
The plan for the adjustment of the measures, which was submitted to the Council of Ministers for discussion, will be sent back to the Scientific Advisory Committee. According to information, the plan divides the spaces and the activities into three categories: high, medium and low risk. High-risk areas include, but are not limited to, nightclubs and banquet facilities, such as mid-range venues, restaurants, hotels and theaters, and low-risk schools and retail. Ministry of Health and experts will finalize in the coming days the conditions for entry into each category, without ruling out the possibility of testing and vaccinated patients in high-risk areas, the duration of which has not yet been decided. Another issue that concerns experts is the differences in safepass and whether the epidemiological data of the country allow the abolition of its mandatory use in specific areas. There is a suggestion that for access to supermarkets, kiosks, bakeries and pharmacies it is not necessary to provide safepass, as the possibility of transmission of the virus in these areas is reduced. Yes, this is one of the issues that will be on the agenda of Monday's meeting, however, a competent source told “P” that the measure may be continued for a few more weeks in order to ensure the preservation of the good epidemiological image of the country. p>
In the last days at the Ministry of Health, the competent departments record all the data in every detail, since the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of Infectious Diseases collects daily the percentages of people who test positive for the virus and have received all three doses of the vaccine, with special focus on the percentages for the elderly, the elderly and the vulnerable. Due to the fact that there is no official opinion from Coreper, the members of the epidemiological team have not yet reached a conclusion on this issue, which also concerns the responsibilities of the National Vaccination Committee. An important role in making the decision to administer an additional dose of vaccine to specific groups of the population depends purely on hospitalization. According to the data published by the Ministry of Health, on February 16, 2022, 66% of patients treated with coronavirus did not have a history of vaccination, while 20% concerned citizens who received the booster dose. It is worth noting that taking into account the data of the previous week, the percentage of immunized people who need treatment does not differ much, while the percentage of fully vaccinated people who received the booster dose increased by 7%. 12% of the patients are partially vaccinated, while only 2% concern citizens who have completed their vaccination scheme.
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