The government of the Republic of Cyprus has issued a decree mandating 3000 randomized coronavirus tests in public places, while another 5000 tests were ordered in Limassol after an alarming spike in the southern town including thirteen new cases in one day.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, 13 new coronavirus cases were detected on Wednesday, with reports saying seven of them were local contacts in Limassol.
Following a Cabinet decision, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou issued an executive order mandating 3000 random tests for COVID-19 to be carried out in areas that draw large crowds.
The decree came during a period of alarming spikes in Limassol, where the numbers of local infections through known contacts but also unknown sources of transmission reached or surpassed those of imported cases.
Limassol Mayor Nicos Nicolaides also announced that another 5000 tests would take place in the city, following a meeting he had with health ministry officials.
'We urge the public, everyone who feels they have a reason to take the test, they should do it,' the mayor said
Nicolaides said 2000 tests would be aimed at the general public and would be conducted by special mobile units stationed in Grigoris Afxentiou square as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We urge the public, everyone who feels they have a reason to take the test, they should do it,” the mayor said.
The government took official action after reports said business owners did not support measures that would effectively place officials outside local businesses to test people in areas where many people gathered.
Limassol saw an unprecedented number of known confirmed cases this month, with recent days raising alarm among health officials who worried about cases of unknown origins.
Before Wednesday double-digit results and just after Tuesday’s announcements about three initial cases in Limassol, officials had to issue a supplemental report Tuesday evening with four more cases in the same town.
According to the supplemental report, two of the four cases were detected through contact tracing while the other two were neither contacts of known cases nor did they travel recently.