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Update – 21/08/2020

corona virus
  • The Health Ministry announced 11 new confirmed cases on Friday from 3,201 tests. This brings the total cases to 1,406.
  • The Government has announced new measures concerning the coronavirus pandemic. The Council of Ministers presided by Cyprus’ President was in session today. They were briefed by Minister of Health Konstantinos Ioannou on the teleconference held on Wednesday with members of the Scientific Advisory Committee. The conference examined the epidemiological data from recent days as well as measures to better control and treat the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The following measures were decided to be applied at least until January 15, 2021:
      • Maximum number of people in private gatherings is set at 50 persons.
      • Maximum number of people at weddings/baptisms (physical presence at dinner) who can attend is set at 350 people. For congratulations and receptions, the flow of people should not exceed 250 people per hour, and guidelines from the relevant protocol should be followed throughout. Instructions from the existing Protocol are to be applied within temples/religious places. The measure comes in force August 22.
      • Maximum number of people in restaurants remains as is at 150 persons indoor and 250 persons outdoor.
      • Organising/Conducting festivals, exhibitions, concerts is strictly prohibited in venues such as stadiums, fields, church courtyards, etc. Concerts and theatrical performances in open-air amphitheatres are allowed provided that the spectators are seated and existing protocols are strictly observed.
      • Organising conferences/general assemblies/other similar gatherings is allowed considering that organisers adhere to existing relevant protocols.
      • Population intervention to 5,000 people, to be repeated every 2 weeks, with laboratory testing in places with a large number of people like bars, restaurants, shopping malls, universities etc, in order to record the epidemiological picture in the community.
      • Recommendations for workplaces: An ad hoc committee will prepare recommendations for workplaces in addition to existing protocols that will be updated.
      • Sample testing to be carried out in schools, the SHSO, nursing homes and other closed structures.
      • People who’ve travelled abroad etc are to retake the coronavirus test 7 days post their arrival regardless if they also took it upon arrival at the airport and they tested negative.
  • Children will return to schools at the start of the school, but with face masks, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said on Friday after a cabinet meeting where coronavirus protocols were discussed. The use of masks will be mandatory in all closed areas of the school, he added, and the plan is for all the students to return to the classroom. Prodromou said: “Our priority along with supplying education is to respect all the hygienic protocols.” Masks will be worn by students at all levels of public education, from kindergarten to lyceum, and Prodromou said it would be good for private schools to also follow this directive.
  • Autumn is around the corner and hospitals in Cyprus are preparing for increased cases of the flu in addition to the coronavirus so as to prevent anticipated operational problems. This is spokesman for the State Health Services Organisation (SHSO) Charalambos Charilaou told on Friday. “Public Health Services are closely following coronavirus-related developments and the relapse recorded over recent weeks, and this phenomenon is certainly a cause for concern…because Autumn means increased flu cases as well,” he said. “This is why SHSO has prepared a second action plan which has been discussed via video conference with all regional directorates as well as with the team of infectious disease specialists and other scientists of the organisation, so that we are ready in case we start to see an increase in the number of patients admitted to hospitals with either virus”, he added. Charilaou also said that the decree of the Minister of Health is still in force according to which hospitals can use only 80% of their beds, so that 20% remain free in case coronavirus patients are admitted for treatment. At the same time, the SHSO has proceeded with staff planning because the experience from the first outbreak of cases in Cyprus has shown what is needed for a more efficient functioning of hospitals under the circumstances.“And now we can use that experience to better prepare in case it is needed again,” he said. Part of the preparation was the issuing of a new Ministry decree setting a new ceiling on the price for laboratory tests carried out for the SARS-CoV-II virus by private labs. “The maximum charge for a laboratory test for the SARS-CoV-II virus, as per the Decree by the Minister of Health, is now set at €75 (from the previously set €85) for the molecular test,”  an official announcement said on Thursday. The revised maximum charge rate came in effect as from Friday.

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