As announced by the Ministry of Health, the British strain of SARS-CoV-2 virus is detected in 25.7% of samples tested in the community of Cyprus. According to specialized tests performed on positive samples sent to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), the new most contagious virus mutation is present in the community, causing a large spread of the disease and an increase in cases and hospitalizations.
Specifically, the ECDC informed that the British strain was detected in 56 cases from an additional 208 positive samples in which the sequencing was successfully performed. In total, so far the sequencing by the ECDC has been completed for 338 samples and the British strain has been identified in a total of 87 cases, a percentage of 25.7%. These are positive samples for the period January-February.
According to an ECDC report (HERE), the British strain is contagious by more than 50%, affecting younger people and leading to an increase in hospital admissions.
As the data show, the above characteristics of the British mutation are also observed in Cyprus, since the admissions to the hospitals of the last 10 days mainly concern healthy people of a younger age, who show respiratory problems. Typically, 70% of the patients are from the District of Limassol, where there is a greater epidemiological burden.
The only weapon for the protection of our health is the observance of the basic measures of distancing, personal hygiene and reduction of social contacts. Along with increasing vaccination coverage of the population, proper mask use and careful socialization can save our lives and lead to a safe gradual return to normalcy and contribute to a faster restart in the near future.
The announcement in Greek by the Ministry of Health can be accessed HERE.