Findings from the government-ordered random sampling program targeting 3,000 people that was finalized on Tuesday confirmed rising concerns that the virus is officially spreading anew through the Cyprus population, with an announcement by health minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday raising the alarm over the dangerous repercussions of the spread getting out of hand.
Ioannou warned that recent data shows that the majority of coronavirus carriers are young and asymptomatic, raising the dangers of unchecked transmission among younger ages who are generally more socially active and travel more across the country, making contact tracing efforts difficult.
As such, the health minister announced that Wednesday marked the initiation of a new round of 10,000 tests that are to take place across all Cyprus cities, “to detect with greater detail the breadth and the areas of the resurgence of the virus.”
Ioannou issued once again an urgent call to the public to follow health and safety guidelines, noting that “the first line of defence will have to be social distancing, limiting our social outings to the greatest extent possible – particularly in crowded places. Also important are personal protection measures, the use of a face mask where necessary and the frequent and diligent washing of hands.”
The health minister gave assurances that “the situation is under control and the epidemiological picture of Cyprus is still at satisfactory levels,” but warned that “the recent accumulating cases is a signal of a resurgence of the virus, which we must put an end to quickly.”
Koliou: Problem not limited to Limassol, calls for stricter measures in all cities
Speaking to Kathimerini Cyprus, member of the government’s coronavirus advisory expert taskforce said that she is planning on suggesting that the government enforces stricter measures, such as those imposed in Limassol, in other cities as well.
With the majority of recent new cases appearing in the coastal city of Limassol, the government moved to reinstate restrictions such as a 10-person cap on the number of people allowed to gather, a measure Koliou said should apply to other cities.
She added that though a resurgence of the virus cannot be denied, the epidemiological situation cannot be described as being in a state of deterioration for another week, when the results of the government’s reinstated restrictions being to show success or failure.
Kostrikis: Limassol coronavirus resurgence expected to calm down in three weeks
The government’s renewed restrictions on social gatherings in Limassol are expected to work effectively, member of the government’s health advisory committee Leontios Kostrikis told the Cyprus News Agency on Wednesday.
“I am hoping that two to three weeks after the announcement of protection measures by the health ministry, we will return to the levels we enjoyed before [the resurgence of the virus.”
Kostrikis added that “a period of three weeks is enough to stop chains of infection, if we all take the correct measures.”