The Health Ministry’s announcement of Tuesday’s coronavirus cases sounded the alarms, cutting short the restrained optimism that had prevailed thus far.
Limassol’s rapid test positivity rate reached 0.96%, up from the steady 0.5% of the recent period. Kathimerini Cyprus said the Ministry is particularly concerned over Tuesday’ results, as some involved students and parents, with the new cases piling on the handful of cases that have already been detected at schools that have reopened their doors.
Two Limassol primary schools in particular are emerging as sites of concern, with one of the two schools moving to suspend physical attendance on Wednesday pending the completion of the contact tracing process.
Special regime for Limassol?
Limassol has been a source of concern for health authorities for a while now, with the Health Ministry initially limiting itself to calling on the district’s residents to adhere to restriction measures in place rather than moving forward with extra restrictions during the latest de-escalation of measures.
Health Ministry sources told Kathimerini Cyprus the prevailing opinion is that Limassol should be placed under a special regime with localized measures, a tactic that proved effective in the past. Also a possibility is to de-escalate measures in Limassol at a slower pace than other districts.
The new cases being detected in schools are raising questions over the direction the government will take at the end of the month, when current restrictions are scheduled to expire. The Cabinet is expected to take final decisions on Thursday, with the Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou to announce new measures at noon.
It remains unclear whether the government will be moving forward with plans to allow all educational level to return to classrooms, as the current plan foresees that the first and second middle school grades will return on March 1, followed by all high school levels a week later.
Families and businesses
Concerns also remain high regarding the transmission of the virus among family and business units, despite restrictions currently in place.
According to the data before the scientific advisory committee regarding intra-family transmission, it appears that there have been cases in which up to three members of the same family became ill almost simultaneously and were admitted to hospital.
A source from the scientific team did not rule out the fact that the transmission of the virus at workplaces is associated with people who get the virus their family environment before spreading it at the places where they work, as many appear to be blowing off the weekly rapid test requirement.