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12° Nicosia,
05 August, 2020
 
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Latest data pave way to ease virus curbs

Ball in government’s court as experts give thumbs up to start planning gradual ease of lockdown

Newsroom

The government of the Republic of Cyprus got thumbs up from local health experts, paving the way for administration officials to take decisions as early as next week to start loosening restriction measures.

Authorities in Cyprus confirmed on Sunday seven new COVID-19 positive cases out of a total of 2415 laboratory tests, with a local health expert saying the numbers meant the infection rate kept going down and it was now not up to the government to take further decisions and determine the next steps.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, specific recommendations have been relayed to President Nicos Anastasiades, whose cabinet is expected to meet on Wednesday in order to take “important decisions.” 

Leondios Kostrikis, a virology professor at the University of Cyprus and government consultant, said the existing epidemiological data pave the way to ease restrictions in the coming days, adding that specific decisions on how to gradually phase out decree measures would be left to the country’s political leadership.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, specific recommendations have been relayed to the president, whose cabinet will take 'important decisions' on Wednesday

The Cyprus News Agency reported that according to the latest data, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases rose to 807 in the Republic of Cyprus.

Just one positive case was found on Sunday after conducting 1047 tests as part of a health ministry task to test 20,000 front line workers and professionals, while another person tested positive out of 282 completely random tests.

Three others were found positive after testing 190 passengers returning to Cyprus from abroad, while two more were detected after conducting tests on their own initiative.

“A more credible epidemiological picture is taking shape after today’s encouraging results, allowing us to reach the safe conclusion that we can now enter the next phase of gradually lifting restrictive measures” said Kostrikis.

The professor acknowledged that the scientific task force determined the existing data paved the way to ease restrictions in the next few days.

But Kostrikis stopped short of sharing any details, saying the experts would first brief the administration, which is responsible for taking any decisions.

After expressing content about the course of events, Kostrikis cautioned that strict adherence to rules of personal hygiene and self-protection measures need to accompany any decision to lift measures.

On Friday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou hinted that the government could expect the first loosening of restriction measures to take place on May 4, provided that the infection rate kept going down.

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