The cabinet has announced new measures in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.
A Ministry of Health press release said on Thursday that due to the increased transmission of the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of SARS-COV-2 virus that prevail in the community at a 90% rate, Minister of Health Michalis Hadzipantela, after consultation with the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, submitted suggestions to the cabinet to review the measures governing high-risk areas and surveillance in an effort to stop the spread of the virus and ensure public health.
The cabinet decided that from 18 July, up to 2 persons per day can visit patients at public or private hospitals or senior people’s homes and closed structures, presenting a rapid test with a 24-hour validity or a PCR with a 48-hour validity for all persons over the age of six and only one person per visit.
COVID testing sites will operate at public hospitals in all districts to serve patients, visitors and hospital workers from 11 am until 1900.
The number of people visiting a patient can increase in case of emergencies and provided approval is obtained by the management.
The Cabinet also decided to extend the 4th booster dose to people with chronic serious underlying diseases that include chronic respiratory disease, severe chronic cardiac and vascular disease, kidney disease, neurological disease and people with hemoglobinopathies. The second booster is available provided that five months have elapsed since the 3rd dose.
Among the decisions is also the establishment of an interministerial committee consisting of the Ministers of Health, Communications and Works, Labour and Education to carry out a study for the installation of ventilation systems in schools and other public buildings.
The Ministry of Health is urging all citizens to maintain personal protective measures (mask, safe distance and hand hygiene) and to undergo self-testing before visiting areas where a large number of people congregate and to undergo weekly rapid tests.