Health Minister Thanos Plevris yesterday issued a final warning in the shadow of a record number of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections and the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The new measures concerning the wearing of masks, tele-work, restaurants, and athletics venues are not yet being implemented and will be instituted at the start of the new year.

Until then, however, citizens – especially young people who fall ill more lightly - must remain vigilant and restrict their contacts as much as possible so as to stem the transmission of COVID-19.

The government is well aware that the cost of a total lockdown would be very high for the economy.

It is also taking into account the fatigue of the population after living with the pandemic for two years, and the sense of injustice that would prevail among the vaccinated if tough, horizontal restrictions were enforced.

Hence, the government has once again resorted to a call for citizens to take personal responsibility.

The threat by now is patently obvious. The fact that vaccines are invaluable is disputed only by those who are divorced from both science and reality.

The unvaccinated must be persuaded to urgently shield themselves, and the vaccinated must not consider themselves safe from infection.

Over the coming days, the number of infections confirmed daily by the National Public Health Organisation is expected to soar.

One must remain calm.

Political parties must tone down their rhetoric and all of us together must confront the common enemy with patience, decisiveness, and discipline, so that we do not again have to celebrate holidays with the virus.

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