A total of 1,024 COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths were reported in Cyprus as of Tuesday July 14, the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health announced on Friday. Among these cases, 18.8% are health-care workers (192), 3.9% physicians (40), 9.5% nurses (97), 1.3% other health occupations (13), and 4.1% auxiliary staff (42). The median age of cases is 44 years – ranging from 30-58 years – with 51.8% being male and 48.2% female. Overall, of 879 cases for which the place of exposure was known, locally acquired infections (index cases and close-contacts of confirmed cases) were 687 (78.2%). Of these 8.3% (57) were related to a health-care facility – General Hospital in Pafos – and 12.2% (84) were reported in Aradippou municipality. Between July 1 and 14, 26 cases were reported, 62% (16) were imported, and 38% (10) were locally-acquired. In total, 17.7% (181) of cases received hospital care, and two (1.1%) are still hospitalised – either for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms or for pre-existing conditions). Median age of all hospitalized patients is 62 years (48-73 years) and 64.6% are males. There are no patients in intensive care units. Among cases alive, 847 (84.9%) have recovered without symptoms and with two negative tests following their diagnosis. A total of 176,174 tests have been performed as of July 14, that is 20,113.5 per 100,000 population.
Despite Cyprus’ positive epidemiological profile, a result of the sacrifices and discipline shown by the whole society, there is no room for complacency and measures must be relaxed slowly and gradually, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday. The statement came one day after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed concerns regarding the new surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide. Tedros said: “too many countries are headed in the wrong direction” in the fight against the virus, claiming that people are getting mixed messages from leaders and that, without basic measures being followed, the pandemic is going to get worse very soon. He also added that measures such as social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks in appropriate situations needed to be taken seriously. The health ministry echoed Tedros’ recommendations, saying people in Cyprus must behave more responsibly to reduce the possibility of a new outbreak on the island, like what happened recently in countries such as Israel, Spain, and Germany, where partial lockdowns have been imposed. Of complaints by nightclub owners and events’ organisers, who are calling for the reopening of clubs and have urged the government to allow for concerts and festivals to go ahead, the ministry said their demands were understandable but the risk of the virus spreading in such conditions was still too high.
August is expected to be the worst in decades where hotel occupancy rates are concerned, chairman of the Paphos hotels association Thanos Michaelides said on Tuesday, as Cyprus faces the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis. According to Michaelides, the occupancy rate in June was not more than 15 per cent did not and July was not expected to be much better, at around 20 per cent at best.
The Labour Ministry has announced that payments were made on Tuesday to businesses and groups of companies for the special unemployment allowance for their employees under the fourth phase of the special schemes to support employees and businesses because of the coronavirus outbreak. The money covers the period of June 13 to June 30. The ministry said that payment was also made as special support for those unemployed who have exhausted the right to normal unemployment benefit for the period of January to June 2020
After weeks of waiting, the Turkish Cypriot side on Wednesday finally submitted the epidemiology report on the coronavirus outlook in the north to the Greek Cypriot side. Greek Cypriot head of the bicommunal technical committee on health, Leonidas Phylactou, said he received the report, which will be discussed at the committee’s meeting next Tuesday. “I received a while ago from the occupied areas the epidemiological report on Covid-19 and forwarded it to the scientific team for assessment,” Phylactou said in a post on social media. He added that it will be discussed at the next meeting of the bicommunal committee on Tuesday. Turkish Cypriot authorities announced this week the report is ready and was to be presented to the Greek Cypriot members of the technical committee on Wednesday, but the meeting was postponed since it had to be translated to English.