The government is planning to draw up a plan for targeted coronavirus sampling among the residents of Larnaca and Paphos, which host the highest numbers of confirmed cases, the Health Minister announced on Thursday.
According to figures issued by the Health Ministry’s epidemiological surveillance unit on Tuesday, the majority of Cyprus’ confirmed coronavirus cases are concentrated in the Larnaca and Paphos districts.
The Yeroskipou municipality in the Paphos district, which has confirmed coronavirus cases, had already begun targeted sampling among its residents on Thursday morning.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the Mayors of the Paphos and Aradippou municipalities have already been informed on the government’s plans by the Minster of Health, Constantinos Ioannou.
Kathimerini Cyprus has reported that officials are not ruling out placing entire areas in quarantine, as well as transferring confirmed cases currently in self-isolation in their homes to state-designated quarantine facilities.
Health Ministry sources have claimed that the implementation of both scenarios will depend on the decisions to be taken by the Health Minister in consultation with the inter-ministerial committee on coronavirus and the President of the Republic.
Speaking to Kathimerini Cyprus, Paphos Mayor, Phedonas Phedonos, said that a first phase of targeted sampling, which efforts are being made to begin as soon as possible, will involve around 1000 tests, at a cost of €110,000.
Phedonos added that those sampled will undergo double testing, in the sense that they will undergo testing for coronavirus and an antibody test, in order to not only determine who are carrying the virus but also who may have been infected and have recovered.
Yeroskipou Mayor, Michalis Pavlides, said the entire municipal workforce will undergo testing, as well as those working at cafeterias, take away restaurants, kiosks, supermarkets, and delivery persons.
Also to be tested are members of the neighbourhood watch, who come into contact with the public.