Cyprus on Tuesday recorded a single-day record high of Covid-19 infections since the virus was first identified on the island in March 2020, data showed on Tuesday.
The island reported 2,241 infections on Tuesday, up from 1,925 a day before. To date, there have been 154,926 cases reported and 630 deaths.
“I think this is due to the Omicron variant, which may have arrived earlier than we thought,” said Petros Karayiannis, professor of microbiology and molecular virology at the medical school of the University of Nicosia and a member of a scientific advisory committee to the government.
Cyprus reported its first case of the Omicron variant on December 10. Health experts believe Omicron is more contagious than earlier strains of the coronavirus, but two studies in the past week suggest that those affected are less likely to require hospital treatment.
“Possibly, without having more data, it is due to the Omicron variant which seems to trigger a milder infection,” Karayiannis was quoted as telling the semi-official Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
Authorities were to review the situation on Wednesday. The number of people on the island who have taken both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine has exceeded 80%. [Reuters]