800 random coronavirus tests to sniff out any asymptomatic carriers are expected to begin this week, allowing the government to make realistic plans for a gradual loosening of restriction measures, Health Ministry official Margharita Kyriakou told Kathimerini Cyprus.
The Health Ministry and the expert team advising the government are making efforts to establish a clear picture regarding asymptomatic carriers, who may be unknowingly hindering the island’s coronavirus recovery.
The plan for random testing involves the collection of samples from randomly selected people from various districts. Within the week, the selected people are expected to be called in for testing.
The method of aggressive sampling being implemented abroad has helped several countries curb their coronavirus outbreak, but, according to a member of the government advisory group, Leontios Kostrikis, the method cannot be applied in Cyprus.
However, Kostrikis said that the method being followed by Cyprus, involving intensive contact tracing, 800 random samples, and 20,000 targeted tests on employees including the entirety of the State Health Services Organization staff, is proving successful, with the number of tests being conducted being representative of the island’s population.