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12° Nicosia,
28 July, 2021
 
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President's Cabinet to rethink COVID strategy

Things over weekend take turn for worse, health minister furious, new decisions expected Monday night

Newsroom

President Nicos Anastasiades has called for an emergency Cabinet meeting on Monday, after data over the weekend appeared to suggest that things were taking a turn for the worse despite hard work and added measures.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, government spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos on Sunday said President Anastasiades will convene his Cabinet on Monday evening for an emergency meeting at 7pm at the Presidential Palace.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou will be present with the entire coronavirus task force, a diverse team of experts advising the government, in order to evaluate the epidemiological situation and take decisions after numbers of coronavirus cases detected skyrocketed.

Reports said scientists on the team had diverging views over needed measures, with some calling for a far stricter response sooner than later.

Ioannou was reportedly furious over recent figures of new COVID-19 cases as well as reports of failing policies aimed at stopping the bug from spreading further to the community.

A total of 430 confirmed cases were announced over the weekend in the Republic of Cyprus out of a total of 7021 tests, while an 82-year-old patient died Saturday, bringing coronavirus fatalities to a total of 35 with 3 out of 4 being covid-19 related deaths.

Ioannou said “the latest developments were worrying because they undermine the collective effort in combating the health crisis,” adding that sacrifices made by society were being rendered ineffective.

The minister was responding to reports that in just 146 tests carried out in a farm in rural Nicosia, 92 labourers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Local media said 92 cases in rural Nicosia were detected from tests on foreign nationals who worked in a slaughterhouse, with reports saying they were living together in cramped quarters

“Our policy in managing the pandemic is based more on cooperation rather than enforcement,” Ioannou said, adding that “unfortunately in many cases, despite constant communication, making public appeals, giving instructions and accommodating, there is callous indifference.”

Local media said the cases in rural Nicosia were detected from tests on foreign nationals who worked in a slaughterhouse, with additional reports saying they were living together in cramped quarters.

Ioannou has made another appeal to the public, calling on people to comply with health rules and reduce their number of contacts.

The definition of a close contact includes living with a confirmed carrier, having physical contact such as shaking hands, hugging or kissing, touching respiratory secretions without protection, chatting for over 15 minutes while either staying less than two arms' length from each other or being in an enclosed space together such as a waiting room, office, or classroom.

The total of confirmed cases in the Republic since the beginning of the outbreak reached 5987, while according to Sunday figures 77 patients were hospitalized, 13 of whom were either on ventilators or receiving emergency care.

A partial lockdown is currently in place including a night curfew in all districts, while talk of a second total lockdown, which had been rejected by government officials citing huge costs for the island’s economy, has not been taken off the table.

The total of confirmed cases in the Republic since the beginning of the outbreak has reached 5987, while according to Sunday figures 77 patients were hospitalized, 13 of whom were either on ventilators or receiving emergency care.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  coronavirus  |  COVID-19  |  health  |  cabinet  |  Ioannou  |  slaughterhouse  |  pandemic  |  measures  |  lockdown

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