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Update – 01/04/2020

  • One more person has died, a man aged 66 years with underlying health conditions, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, and another 58 people have tested positive for coronavirus, the biggest jump in a single day so far. This brings the total number of deaths to nine and the total number of confirmed cases to 320 (including ten in the British Bases). The people who died so far are eight men and a woman, seven of them with underlying health conditions, with an average age of 68 years.
  • Turkish Cypriot authorities have announced another seven coronavirus cases bringing the total number in northern Cyprus to 77. They said the seven were confirmed from a total of 488 checks. Earlier on Wednesday an 83 year old German woman died in hospital, the second person to die of Covid-19 in the north.
  • The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the Israeli Prime Minister discussed on Tuesday bilateral cooperation regarding the struggle against COVID-19, Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on twitter. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke last night with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. The leaders discussed ways of dealing with the struggle against the coronavirus, as well as bilateral cooperation on policy issues, research and development, and procurement” says Netanyahu’s message on twitter.
  • It appears the bill providing for €2bn in state guarantees to support businesses may not be discussed by parliament after Diko said it would not support it as is, thus removing its chance of being approved. The party has asked for the postponement of the discussion, which is scheduled for Friday, saying it was not convinced over the procedure to grant the loans to stricken businesses and self-employed, as well as the supervision of the scheme. Instead, the party proposed that the state should directly borrow the cash from banks and inject it into the economy directly to cover payrolls and other expenses.
  • The A&E department at Paphos Hospital has reopened after it was shut down temporarily earlier today as one nurse working there had been found positive to Covid-19, the hospital’s head Iosif Moutiris told CNA. Moutiris said that A&E has resumed operations after all areas were disinfected. He added that some medical professionals had to be placed in isolation and will undergo testing following instructions by the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit. In a communication with all the staff at Paphos Hospital, Moutiris requested stricter adherence to health and safety measures, “because a staff who are safe can better perform their duties during this time”.
  • One doctor and two nurses from Larnaca hospital are among the 32 new Covid-19 cases announced yesterday by the Ministry of Health, philenews reports, activating protocols at the hospital. OKYPY’s Executive Director for Larnaca and Famagusta George Karotsakis said that the three medical professionals are from the hospital’s A&E department and have been placed in self-isolation. The tracing of their contacts is already underway while nine nurses and two doctors from the A&E department have also been placed in isolation at home. Karotsakis said that the situation will be evaluated and it will be decided whether the A&E will have to close for disinfection.
  • Twenty-four people having a party in a Larnaca apartment on Tuesday night, in the middle of the first hours of a new curfew, were busted by police and all fined. Police said they were tipped off about the gathering and went to the apartment. There they found 24 people who had ignored the decree which stipulates only household members are allowed in a home, and the newly-imposed curfew between 9pm and 6am. All those present were fined with €150 and left. The on the spot fines are slated to double to €300 as soon as parliament passes into law the bill approved by cabinet on Tuesday.
  • The chief of police said Wednesday the force will be bringing in the National Guard as part of ‘relentless’ efforts to stop people violating quarantine orders. Speaking in Larnaca, where the force on Tuesday busted a party with 24 people at a flat, Kypros Michaelides said there were people who did not heed the warnings. “Unfortunately, there are also people who don’t understand with words and we are forced to book them,” Michaelides said. “And in some instances, a case needs to be opened because it appears other, more serious offences are committed.”
  • A total of 212 drivers and pedestrians were booked by police from 6pm on Tuesday until 6am on Wednesday for moving around without a permit while a curfew was in effect between 9pm and 6am. As police spokesman Christos Andreou told SigmaLive, there were 1,452 inspections of premises with no violations, but of the 2,558 checks of drivers and people on foot carried out, 212 violated the decree.
  • Cyprus aviation traffic has declined by up to 91.6 per cent compared to the same period last year, following the March 21 decree by the transport ministry to close airports for 14 days due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Cyprus News Agency reported. The situation is similar to all other EU countries as major airports have announced flight suspensions. According to Eurocontrol data, the largest drop in air traffic at the Nicosia FIR, which includes flights over Cyprus but also arrivals and departures from the two Cyprus airports, was recorded on March 28, reaching a 91.6 reduction compared to the same day in 2019.
  • Ambassador of China to Cyprus Huang Xingyuan has announced the arrival of the first batch of China-donated medical supplies to Cyprus. Huang Xingyuan said in a post on Twitter that he was “happy to announce that the 1st batch of #China-donated med supplies has reached #Cyprus, including 5000 KN95 masks, 5000 surgical masks and 1320 protective uniforms”. He added that the second batch is ready in China for pick-up by Cypriot chartered flight. “Hope our supplies will help Cyprus out!”, the Ambassador concludes.

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