Newsroom / CNA
No new infections of the coronavirus were announced in Cyprus on Saturday, the first time the island recorded zero confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak in early March.
(Click here for an update to the story)
According to the Cyprus News Agency, no new Covid-19 cases were recorded out of a total of 2465 tests carried out on the island.
Greek Cypriot health officials in the south announced on Saturday they detected no new infections out of a whopping 2414 tests, the first time the Republic of Cyprus recorded zero cases, while Turkish Cypriot authorities in the north continued their zero findings with 51 tests in the last 24 hours.
President Anastasiades said the zero cases were attributed to 'the conscientiousness of our citizens and the battle waged by health experts and medical professionals on the front lines'
The first two infections in Cyprus were confirmed on March 9. The the total number of known confirmed cases reached 1035 island-wide, with 915 in the south, 108 in the north, and 12 on British Bases. As of Saturday, nine patients remained hospitalized in the south, six of whom were said to be on ventilators.
CNA reported a total of 24 people infected with Covid-19 died in the Republic of Cyprus, with the infectious disease listed as primary cause of death in 17 cases. Four infected individuals have died in the north.
Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the zero cases were attributed to “the conscientiousness of our citizens and the battle waged by health experts and medical professionals on the front lines.”
“We have to keep this up, return to normality responsibly,” Anastasiades wrote on Twitter.
The government was initially criticized for not taking adequate measures from the very beginning of the outbreak, before the first case was ever detected in Cyprus.
Several reports pointed to confusion over some measures and guidelines, but in the end the Anastasiades administration was credited with success, with both local and foreign media praising the government for listening to health experts.
Police were also criticized by some segments of the population for being too strict and inflexible with violators, while in one case, Anastasiades stepped in and ordered the release of a local man who was sentenced to 45 days for breaking curfew.
Local health experts said they were pleased with the positive epidemiological picture in Cyprus but warned that “one carrier would be enough to trigger a chain of infection” if rules aren’t followed out in public.