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1.
Health Policy ; 126(4): 281-286, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773338

ABSTRACT

The aim of this paper is to compare the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on four small countries in the southern half of Europe with similar public health systems: San Marino, Montenegro, Malta and Cyprus, the latter two being island states. There are advantages and disadvantages in being a small nation amidst this crisis. The centralized public health administration means that small countries are faster at adapting as they learn and evolve on a weekly basis. However, small countries tend to be dependent on their bigger neighbours, and the networks they belong to, for trade, food, medical supplies as well as policies. The risk threshold taken by a small country for the transition strategy has to be less than that taken by a bigger country because if things go wrong in a border region, there is less resilience in a small country, with immediate impact on the whole country. The blow to the tourism industry, which plays a main role especially in small countries, negatively impacted the economy, and it has been a feat to reach a balance between allowing the flow of inbound tourists and keeping the local infection rates under control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cyprus/epidemiology , Humans , Malta/epidemiology , Montenegro/epidemiology , Pandemics , San Marino
2.
Turk J Pediatr ; 64(1): 179-185, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1743166

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While children were initially thought to have serious contributions to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission, recent studies suggest otherwise. However, the possible effect of asymptomatic pediatric spread still has not yet received enough attention. The aim of our study was to estimate asymptomatic infection rates among children in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, by using pediatric patients admitted to a university hospital without any COVID-19-associated symptoms. METHODS: Blood samples collected from 80 pediatric patients with no symptoms and history of COVID-19 infection, who were admitted to a university hospital between September 2020 and January 2021, were included in the retrospective study. Isolated serum samples were tested by Dia.Pro SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA assays. RESULTS: The patient group included 40 (50%) male and 40 (50%) female patients. The average age of children was 7.6 ± 4.0 years, with min-max ages ranging from 2 to 15 years. Among the 80 patients tested, only one (1.3%) was detected positive by the Dia.Pro IgG ELISA kit. CONCLUSIONS: The asymptomatic seropositivity reported in our study suggests the use of randomly performed serologic tests to monitor SARS-CoV-2 infection among the pediatric population in schools that would contribute to the public health fight against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cyprus/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Male , Retrospective Studies
3.
Public Health ; 204: 84-86, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702135

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We explored the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing reinfection in the Republic of Cyprus. STUDY DESIGN: This was a matched case-control study (1:2). METHODS: Cases were adults with a first episode of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 2020 and a second episode (i.e. reinfection) between June and August 2021. Controls were adults with only one infection episode in 2020 (i.e. not reinfected). Matching was performed by age, gender, and week of diagnosis for the first episode. The reinfection date of a case was applied to the matched controls for estimating full or partial vaccination status. Cases and controls were classified as unvaccinated, partially vaccinated (i.e. vaccination series not completed or final dose received ≤14 days before the reinfection date), or fully vaccinated (i.e. final dose received >14 days before the reinfection date). Conditional logistic regression was performed to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for full or partial vaccination, against no vaccination, between controls and cases. RESULTS: This study showed that controls were more likely to be vaccinated (odds ratio for full vaccination: 5.51, 95% confidence interval: 2.43-12.49) than cases. CONCLUSIONS: This finding answers a pressing question of the public and supports the offer of vaccination to people with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Case-Control Studies , Cyprus/epidemiology , Humans , Reinfection , Vaccination
5.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 57(2): 386-394, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1530214

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To prospectively quantify at the community level changes in asthma symptom control and other morbidity indices, among asthmatic schoolchildren in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown measures. METHODS: In Spring 2019 and Spring 2020, we prospectively assessed monthly changes in pediatric asthma control test (c-ACT), asthma medication usage, infections and unscheduled visits for asthma among schoolchildren with active asthma in Cyprus and Greece. We compared asthma symptom control and other morbidity indices before and during lockdown measures, while participants' time spent at home was objectively assessed by wearable sensors. RESULTS: A total of 119 asthmatic children participated in the study during Spring 2020. Compared to a mean baseline (pre-COVID-19 lockdown) c-ACT score of 22.70, adjusted mean increases of 2.58 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.91, 3.26, p < 0.001) and 3.57 (95% CI: 2.88, 4.27, p < 0.001) in the 2nd and 3rd monthly assessments were observed after implementation of lockdown measures. A mean increase in c-ACT score of 0.32 (95% CI: 0.17, 0.47, p < 0.001) was noted per 10% increase in the time spent at home. Improvement was more profound in children with severe asthma, while significant reductions in infections, asthma medication usage and unscheduled visits for asthma were also observed. During Spring 2019, 39 children participated in the study in the absence of lockdown measures and no changes in c-ACT or other indices of disease severity were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Clinically meaningful improvements in asthma symptom control, among asthmatic schoolchildren were observed during the COVID-19 lockdown measures in Spring 2020. Improvements were independently associated with time spent at home and were more profound in the children with severe asthma.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Asthma/drug therapy , Asthma/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cyprus/epidemiology , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1898, 2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477408

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cyprus addressed the first wave of SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) by implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The aims of this study were: a) to estimate epidemiological parameters of this wave including infection attack ratio, infection fatality ratio, and case ascertainment ratio, b) to assess the impact of public health interventions and examine what would have happened if those interventions had not been implemented. METHODS: A dynamic, stochastic, individual-based Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) model was developed to simulate COVID-19 transmission and progression in the population of the Republic of Cyprus. The model was fitted to the observed trends in COVID-19 deaths and intensive care unit (ICU) bed use. RESULTS: By May 8th, 2020, the infection attack ratio was 0.31% (95% Credible Interval [CrI]: 0.15, 0.54%), the infection fatality ratio was 0.71% (95% CrI: 0.44, 1.61%), and the case ascertainment ratio was 33.2% (95% CrI: 19.7, 68.7%). If Cyprus had not implemented any public health measure, the healthcare system would have been overwhelmed by April 14th. The interventions averted 715 (95% CrI: 339, 1235) deaths. If Cyprus had only increased ICU beds, without any social distancing measure, the healthcare system would have been overwhelmed by April 19th. CONCLUSIONS: The decision of the Cypriot authorities to launch early NPIs limited the burden of the first wave of COVID-19. The findings of these analyses could help address the next waves of COVID-19 in Cyprus and other similar settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Cyprus/epidemiology , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
7.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258475, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468176

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The spread of COVID-19 into a global pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of frontline healthcare-workers. This study is a multi-centre, cross-sectional epidemiological study that uses nationwide data to assess the prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression and burnout among health care workers managing COVID-19 patients in Cyprus. The study also investigates the mechanism behind the manifestation of these pathologies, as to allow for the design of more effective protective measures. METHODS: Data on the mental health status of the healthcare workers were collected from healthcare professionals from all over the nation, who worked directly with Covid patients. This was done via the use of 64-item, self-administered questionnaire, which was comprised of the DASS21 questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory and a number of original questions. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to investigate factors associated with each of the mental health measures. RESULTS: The sample population was comprised of 381 healthcare professionals, out of which 72.7% were nursing staff, 12.9% were medical doctors and 14.4% belonged to other occupations. The prevalence of anxiety, stress and depression among the sample population were 28.6%, 18.11% and 15% respectively. The prevalence of burnout was 12.3%. This was in parallel with several changes in the lives of the healthcare professionals, including; working longer hours, spending time in isolation and being separated from family. DISCUSSION: This study indicates that the mental health of a significant portion of the nation's workforce is compromised and, therefore, highlights the need for an urgent intervention particularly since many countries, including Cyprus, are suffering a second wave of the pandemic. The identified risk factors should offer guidance for employers aiming to protect their frontline healthcare workers from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/psychology , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Mental Health , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cyprus/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Prevalence , Risk Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0248792, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319514

ABSTRACT

Whole genome sequencing of viral specimens following molecular diagnosis is a powerful analytical tool of molecular epidemiology that can critically assist in resolving chains of transmission, identifying of new variants or assessing pathogen evolution and allows a real-time view into the dynamics of a pandemic. In Cyprus, the first two cases of COVID-19 were identified on March 9, 2020 and since then 33,567 confirmed cases and 230 deaths were documented. In this study, viral whole genome sequencing was performed on 133 SARS-CoV-2 positive samples collected between March 2020 and January 2021. Phylogenetic analysis was conducted to evaluate the genomic diversity of circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Cyprus. 15 different lineages were identified that clustered into three groups associated with the spring, summer and autumn/winter wave of SARS-CoV-2 incidence in Cyprus, respectively. The majority of the Cypriot samples belonged to the B.1.258 lineage first detected in September that spread rapidly and largely dominated the autumn/winter wave with a peak prevalence of 86% during the months of November and December. The B.1.1.7 UK variant (VOC-202012/01) was identified for the first time at the end of December and spread rapidly reaching 37% prevalence within one month. Overall, we describe the changing pattern of circulating SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Cyprus since the beginning of the pandemic until the end of January 2021. These findings highlight the role of importation of new variants through travel towards the emergence of successive waves of incidence in Cyprus and demonstrate the importance of genomic surveillance in determining viral genetic diversity and the timely identification of new variants for guiding public health intervention measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Cyprus/epidemiology , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
9.
Front Public Health ; 9: 673411, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278469

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global health emergency that could potentially have a significant impact on both somatic as well as psychological level. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of perceived stress in the general adult population of Cyprus during the first COVID-19 lockdown period. This was an internet-based cross-sectional study conducted between 6 April and 20 June 2020, one to two and a half months after the introduction of and the first mandatory lockdown on its entire territory imposed by the government of the Republic of Cyprus on 24 March 2020. Data collection was done using a self-administered questionnaire that included information about socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, physical activity, smoking habits, and stress level. A total of 1,485 adults participated in the study. The median perceived stress score was 10 (q1 = 6, q3 = 15). Linear regression models showed that having a medium monthly income (€501-1,500) and being a current smoker was positively associated with the perceived stress score, while being male and physically active was negatively associated with the perceived stress score (all p <0.05). People with medium average salary and current smokers were at a higher risk for perceived stress. Psychological interventions and/or psychological services provided in certain vulnerable groups would be beneficial in future lockdowns due to either COVID-19 or a new pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cyprus/epidemiology , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
10.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264528

ABSTRACT

The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) resulted in an extraordinary global public health crisis. In early 2020, Cyprus, among other European countries, was affected by the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and adopted lockdown measures in March 2020 to limit the initial outbreak on the island. In this study, we performed a comprehensive retrospective molecular epidemiological analysis (genetic, phylogenetic, phylodynamic and phylogeographic analyses) of SARS-CoV-2 isolates in Cyprus from April 2020 to January 2021, covering the first ten months of the SARS-CoV-2 infection epidemic on the island. The primary aim of this study was to assess the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 lineages in Cyprus. Whole SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences were generated from 596 clinical samples (nasopharyngeal swabs) obtained from community-based diagnostic testing centers and hospitalized patients. The phylogenetic analyses revealed a total of 34 different lineages in Cyprus, with B.1.258, B.1.1.29, B.1.177, B.1.2, B.1 and B.1.1.7 (designated a Variant of Concern 202012/01, VOC) being the most prevalent lineages on the island during the study period. Phylodynamic analysis showed a highly dynamic epidemic of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with three consecutive surges characterized by specific lineages (B.1.1.29 from April to June 2020; B.1.258 from September 2020 to January 2021; and B.1.1.7 from December 2020 to January 2021). Genetic analysis of whole SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences of the aforementioned lineages revealed the presence of mutations within the S protein (L18F, ΔH69/V70, S898F, ΔY144, S162G, A222V, N439K, N501Y, A570D, D614G, P681H, S982A and D1118H) that confer higher transmissibility and/or antibody escape (immune evasion) upon the virus. Phylogeographic analysis indicated that the majority of imports and exports were to and from the United Kingdom (UK), although many other regions/countries were identified (southeastern Asia, southern Europe, eastern Europe, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Chile, the USA, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland and Pakistan). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 infection epidemic in Cyprus is being maintained by a continuous influx of lineages from many countries, resulting in the establishment of an ever-evolving and polyphyletic virus on the island.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control , Cyprus/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Mutation , Nasopharynx/virology , Phylogeography , RNA, Viral/genetics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
11.
Health Care Women Int ; 41(11-12): 1240-1254, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263595

ABSTRACT

In this study, researchers aimed to determine exercise habits, physical activity (PA) levels and anxiety levels of postmenopausal women (PMw) during the self-quarantine period of the COVID-19 pandemic. 104 PMw (59.00 ± 6.61 years old) participated in the study. It was found that PMw who had exercise habits before the pandemic period had higher PA levels, and the women with high anxiety levels during the pandemic had lower PA levels (p < .05). Anxiety levels and PA were negatively associated with each other. Numbers of grandchildren also affected the PA and anxiety levels of the PMw negatively. Women should be encouraged to initiate or maintain PA levels in all circumstances.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Exercise/psychology , Postmenopause/psychology , Aged , Cyprus/epidemiology , Female , Habits , Humans , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0250709, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218421

ABSTRACT

We present two different approaches for modeling the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both approaches are based on the population classes susceptible, exposed, infectious, quarantined, and recovered and allow for an arbitrary number of subgroups with different infection rates and different levels of testing. The first model is derived from a set of ordinary differential equations that incorporates the rates at which population transitions take place among classes. The other is a particle model, which is a specific case of crowd simulation model, in which the disease is transmitted through particle collisions and infection rates are varied by adjusting the particle velocities. The parameters of these two models are tuned using information on COVID-19 from the literature and country-specific data, including the effect of restrictions as they were imposed and lifted. We demonstrate the applicability of both models using data from Cyprus, for which we find that both models yield very similar results, giving confidence in the predictions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Algorithms , COVID-19/diagnosis , Computer Simulation , Cyprus/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Models, Statistical , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
13.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 786, 2021 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1204064

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread adoption of virus control measures have inevitably disrupted efforts to address lifestyle risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCD). This study aimed to explore the effects of COVID-19 lockdown on all lifestyle medicine pillars, namely diet, physical activity, sleep, stress, social support and use of risky substances. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study on a convenient sample of adults who resided in Cyprus during the Spring 2020 lockdown. Participants completed an anonymous online questionnaire comprised of six validated tools regarding the following lifestyle behaviours before and during lockdown: adherence to the Mediterranean diet, physical activity, stress and social support levels, sleep pattern and use of risky substances such as smoking and alcohol. Paired before and during lockdown comparisons for each lifestyle pillar were undertaken using Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test and Bowker symmetry Test where response was numerical (non-parametric data) and categorical respectively. Furthermore, stratified analyses for sociodemographic characteristics were performed. RESULTS: Out of 745 participants, 74% were female and median age was 39 years. Overall participants reported significantly higher perceived stress score (22 v 25, p <  0.01), lower social support score (71 v 68, p <  0.001), and worse sleep quality score (4 v 5, p <  0.01) during lockdown. Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence was moderate and increased significantly only in those practicing religious fasting (score of 6 v 7, p <  0.01). Total minutes spent sitting increased (120 v 180, p <  0.01) although overall physical activity score did not significantly change. Smoking intensity increased during lockdown whilst frequency of alcohol consumption decreased (ptrend = 0.03 and <  0.01, respectively). CONCLUSION: Various lifestyle factors were adversely affected by the COVID-19 lockdown in Cyprus. Evidence from this study supports development of holistic lifestyle interventions during and following the pandemic to reduce short and long-term NCD risks by building on lifestyle behaviour strengths and addressing longstanding and emerging gaps and needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cyprus/epidemiology , Female , Habits , Humans , Life Style , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Niger J Clin Pract ; 24(4): 534-545, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183969

ABSTRACT

AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate the perception, attitude, and awareness of dental practitioners (DPs) and intern DPs towards SARS-COV-2 by comparing the awareness-attitude score (AAS). MATERIALS AND METHODS: An online survey was generated in Google Forms. An invitation email was sent to all DPs in Northern Cyprus (n = 270) and intern DPs at Near East University (n = 200). Data were blindly collected from March 2020 to May 2020. Participants received 1 point for each correct answer. By adding up all collected points, an AAS was determined. Data were statistically analyzed. RESULTS: The questionnaire was answered by 228 DPs (84% response-rate). No statistically significant difference was detected between gender-groups in terms of AAS (P = 0.301). A significant difference was detected between occupation groups in terms of AAS (P = 0.006), and of these, dentist-academician-group exhibited superior score. Other tested variables (specialty, way of occupation, place of occupation, and duration of occupation) had no influence on the AAS (P > 0.05). Relation between age and AAS was statistically significant (P = 0.054, Spearmen Correlation). Increasing age increases AAS as linear relation was detected between these variables (P = 0.011, Linear Regression). The questionnaire was also answered by 182 intern DPs (91% response-rate). No significant difference was detected between gender-groups (P = 0.378). Correlation was insignificant between age and AAS (P = 0.933). CONCLUSIONS: Occupation is the only variable influencing AAS of DPs. Academicians exhibited superior knowledge regarding SARS-CoV-2. The AASs of DPs and intern DPs were analogous.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cyprus/epidemiology , Dentists , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Professional Role , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175589

ABSTRACT

The aim of the current study was to examine mental health effects of the first wave of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease-19) in Cyprus. Accordingly, 388 individuals aged 18-65+ responded to the Components of Mental Health Questionnaire that was distributed via social media for two weeks assessing how emotional distress, support and interest in self and others, lifestyle changes, engagement in protective measures, and avoidant behaviors were related to participants' gender, age, and place of residency. Additionally, we measured the level of concern of individuals during and after the first wave outbreak of the pandemic. The results suggest that (a) females experience higher levels of anxiety, stress, fear, worry, and despair than males and are more likely to undertake protective measures, (b) older individuals and those who live in urban areas perceive greater social support and interest in the emotional experience of significant others, (c) emotional distress and support and interest in self and others are associated with all other variables, indicating the importance of these constructs to the experience of a pandemic, and (d) there was a decrease in participants' concern after the end of the first wave of the pandemic. Mental health professionals could find this information useful when developing and implementing prevention programs that aim to offer psychological support during this stressful period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Cyprus/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 7342, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164910

ABSTRACT

We present different data analytic methodologies that have been applied in order to understand the evolution of the first wave of the Coronavirus disease 2019 in the Republic of Cyprus and the effect of different intervention measures that have been taken by the government. Change point detection has been used in order to estimate the number and locations of changes in the behaviour of the collected data. Count time series methods have been employed to provide short term projections and a number of various compartmental models have been fitted to the data providing with long term projections on the pandemic's evolution and allowing for the estimation of the effective reproduction number.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Models, Statistical , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cyprus/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
18.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(2): e25799, 2021 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069699

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the global COVID-19 pandemic, has severely impacted Central Asia; in spring 2020, high numbers of cases and deaths were reported in this region. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is currently breaching the borders of Central Asia. Public health surveillance is necessary to inform policy and guide leaders; however, existing surveillance explains past transmissions while obscuring shifts in the pandemic, increases in infection rates, and the persistence of the transmission of COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to provide enhanced surveillance metrics for SARS-CoV-2 transmission that account for weekly shifts in the pandemic, including speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence, to better understand the risk of explosive growth in each country and which countries are managing the pandemic successfully. METHODS: Using a longitudinal trend analysis study design, we extracted 60 days of COVID-19-related data from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to measure the daily number of cases in the Central Asia region as a function of the prior number of cases, level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. RESULTS: COVID-19 transmission rates were tracked for the weeks of September 30 to October 6 and October 7-13, 2020, in Central Asia. The region averaged 11,730 new cases per day for the first week and 14,514 for the second week. Infection rates increased across the region from 4.74 per 100,000 persons to 5.66. Russia and Turkey had the highest 7-day moving averages in the region, with 9836 and 1469, respectively, for the week of October 6 and 12,501 and 1603, respectively, for the week of October 13. Russia has the fourth highest speed in the region and continues to have positive acceleration, driving the negative trend for the entire region as the largest country by population. Armenia is experiencing explosive growth of COVID-19; its infection rate of 13.73 for the week of October 6 quickly jumped to 25.19, the highest in the region, the following week. The region overall is experiencing increases in its 7-day moving average of new cases, infection, rate, and speed, with continued positive acceleration and no sign of a reversal in sight. CONCLUSIONS: The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic requires novel dynamic surveillance metrics in addition to static metrics to effectively analyze the pandemic trajectory and control spread. Policy makers need to know the magnitude of transmission rates, how quickly they are accelerating, and how previous cases are impacting current caseload due to a lag effect. These metrics applied to Central Asia suggest that the region is trending negatively, primarily due to minimal restrictions in Russia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Administrative Personnel , Armenia/epidemiology , Asia, Central/epidemiology , Azerbaijan/epidemiology , Benchmarking , Cyprus/epidemiology , Denmark/epidemiology , Food Insecurity , Georgia (Republic)/epidemiology , Gibraltar/epidemiology , Humans , Kosovo/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Registries , Republic of North Macedonia/epidemiology , Russia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Turkey/epidemiology , Water Insecurity
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060772

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has a great impact on healthcare workers (HCWs) that includes negative mental health outcomes, such as post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms. In this cross-sectional study, we report on mental health outcomes among HCWs in Cyprus. Data were collected between 3 May and 27 May 2020, with the use of an online questionnaire that included demographics (sex, age, occupation, education, work sector, years of work experience), the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) which assesses depressive symptoms, the Impact of Events Scale Revised (IES-R), which measures post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and the-10 item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) which quantifies stress responses. Participants (42% physicians, 24% nurses, 18% physiotherapists, 16% classified as "other") were 58% of female gender and aged 21-76. A total of 79 (18.6%) and 62 HCWs (14.6%) reported clinically significant depressive (PHQ-9 ≥ 10) and post-traumatic stress (IES-R > 33) symptoms respectively. Nurses were more likely than physicians to suffer from depression (adjusted prevalence ratio 1.7 (1.06-2.73); p = 0.035) and PTSD (adjusted prevalence ratio 2.51 (1.49-4.23); p = 0.001). Even in a country with a rather low spread of the COVID-19, such as Cyprus, HCWs reported a substantial mental health burden, with nurses reporting increased depressive and PTSD symptoms compared to other HCWs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Mental Health , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cyprus/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
20.
Int J Clin Pract ; 75(4): e13944, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-991414

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In late July, Cyprus experienced the second epidemic wave of COVID-19. We present the steps taken by the government and evaluate their effect on epidemic trends. MATERIALS: Cyprus Press and Information Office data were analysed. Using an R-based forecasting program, two models were created to predict cases up to 01/09/2020: Model 1, which utilised data up to 09/06/2020, when airports reopened to foreign travelers with COVID-19 screening; and Model 2, which utilised data until 24/06/2020, when screening for passengers from low-transmission countries was discontinued. RESULTS: PIO data revealed no significant policy changes between 24/06/2020 and 31/07/2020. Prediction models were robust and accurate (Model 1, R2  = 0.999, P < .001; Model 2, R2  = 0.998, P < .001). By August 30th, recorded cases exceeded those predicted by Model 1 by 24.47% and by Model 2 by 20.95%, with P values <.001 for both cases. CONCLUSIONS: The significant difference between recorded cases and those projected by Models 1 and 2 suggests that changes in epidemic trends may have been associated with policy changes after their respective dates. Discontinuation of major restrictions such as airport reopening, can destabilise the control of the epidemic, and may concomitantly necessitate a reevaluation of the current epidemic status. In the face of an evolving situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic, states are forced to balance the imposing of restrictions against their impact on the economy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Public Policy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cyprus/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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