21 people were confirmed positive for the virus in the Republic on Saturday after an additional 811 samples were processed in labs across Cyprus, raising total coronavirus cases to 616. The coronavirus death toll in the Republic of Cyprus remained stable at 10. The 21 new cases involve 10 contacts of other known cases, one person who had traveled abroad, and another 10 whose history is still under investigation.
Health expert Leondios Kostrikis estimated on Friday that judging by the progression of the island’s coronavirus curve, we should be free of the virus by early May, though the timeframe depends on the effectiveness of the measures taken, the public’s response, and the elimination of imported cases. Speaking on a radio programme, Kostrikis, who is also a member of the group of experts consulting the government on how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, said “the epidemiological curve is a curve that develops according to the daily coronavirus cases.” Kostrikis noted that the Cyprus coronavirus curve peaked on April 1, when 58 people had tested positive for the virus in a single day.
The collection of samples from workers in the public and private sectors to be tested for Covid-19 has started on Saturday morning, the CNA reports. The process is expected to last 20 days and is conducted in collaboration with private labs that fulfil the criteria set by the Ministry of Health. The Health Ministry calls on all citizens that fulfil the following criteria to reach out to one of the approved labs to make an appointment: workers in the public and wider public sectors and local administration, prioritising authorities that provide services to the public / members of the National Guard / members of the Police / members of the Fire Service, and / workers in the private sector with priority to businesses providing services to the public (ex. banks, post offices, gas stations) and food and drink retail businesses (ex. supermarkets, kiosks, bakeries etc). The Health Ministry advises that on the day of their appointment, beneficiaries should present proof verifying their job position, like a signed confirmation from the employer.
The central bank (CBC) said it has released a further €90m that could be used to support the economy by pushing back a deadline that obliges other systemically important institutions (O-SII) to hold additional capital buffers. The CBC said it has decided to extend by 12 months the time schedule for the gradual introduction of capital buffers by O-SII, thus releasing €90m in additional funds from January 1, 2021. The O-SII in Cyprus are Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic, RCB, Eurobank, Alpha, and AstroBank. The funds can be used by banks to absorb potential losses and to finance households and businesses, the CBC said.