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Update – 27/03/2020

  • The Republic of Cyprus will be sending a quantity of chloroquine to Israel in the next few days, with Israel to reciprocate by sending 50 respirators to the island. In a written statement, Government Spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said that President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday spoke on the phone with his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin, with whom he discussed the current Covid-19 pandemic. The Spokesman said that Rivlin responded positively to Cyprus’ request for 50 respirators, with Anastasiades agreeing to send a quantity of chloroquine to the neighbouring country
  • A total of 1,200 repatriated people are still in mandatory quarantine in 11 hotels in the mountains, president of the Cyprus Hotel Association (Pasyxe) Haris Loizides said on Friday. The hotels are located in mountain resorts and along the coast. According to Loizides, the hotels strictly adhere to all necessary precautions under the supervision of police and the national guard. He said people staying in the hotels are disciplined and follow instructions even though in the early days of the quarantine there were some isolated incidents of non-compliance. The quarantined people have to stay in their hotel rooms at all times and food is taken up to the door of their rooms. Emergency medical services are also available at the hotels.
  • The Oncology Department of the Limassol General Hospital was placed in lockdown on Friday after a patient who was being treated there recently tested positive for Covid-19. According to media in Cyprus, the cancer patient, a Paphos resident, was tested for the virus after a private doctor he was visiting had also tested positive for coronavirus. With the cancer patient testing positive, the ward was placed in lockdown on Friday to be disinfected, while samples will be taken from staff and other patients.
  • A national fiscal package of measures to counter the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cyprus goes before the House plenum for approval later on Friday. The package includes more than ten bills aiming to act as the virus’ economic antidote. That is, boost the psychology of citizens along with their income, safeguard jobs and pave the way for business survival. House members are expected to go to the plenum in a consensual spirit because of the critical moments the country’s economy faces, even though reservations were raised during Thursday’s tele-conference between party representatives and the ministers of finance and of labour. Some amendments to the original package of measures were made to include proposals by the parties. Most significant are the bills providing for the suspension of instalments to banks for nine months and the granting of state guarantees of up to €2 billion to banks for low-interest loans. Amendments also include extending the suspension of Gesy’s increased contribution from April 1 to June 30 instead of the end of May as provided in the original draft bill. At the same time, the bill seeks to withhold additional tax and interest on VAT for certain categories of taxpayers for the period ending on February 29, March 31 and April 30, provided that taxpayers submit their tax returns and pay their VAT by November 10.
  • Medical supplies from China, which were expected to be flown to Cyprus on a Greek C-130, will not be shipped to the island with officials saying the Republic will have to send its own plane or find another way. A Greek C-130 military aircraft was expected to fly to China on Sunday, March 29, to load medical supplies for Greece as well as a portion of medical supplies in order to assist the Republic of Cyprus’ battle against Covid-19. But according to an official, who went on state radio Friday morning, the C-130 won’t deliver the supplies to Cyprus due to plans falling through. The official said the state was seeking other ways including possibly chartering its own flight in order to get the supplies. The nature of the problem was not immediately known. Last week, the Chinese Ambassador in Nicosia, Huang Xingyuan, announced on Twitter that the first batch of medical supplies that were to be shipped to Cyprus from China, including 10,000 FFP2 masks, were dispatched.
  • Five more patients were discharged on Thursday from the Famagusta referral hospital after they were declared Coronavirus-free, and a 20-month old girl from the British Bases that was admitted to Makarios Hospital in Nicosia with symptoms has tested negative. It was noted by Christina Yannaki, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health that all people discharged from the Famagusta Hospital go into self-isolation at home for 14 days. She added that 15 patients found positive to Covid-19 are currently being treated at the hospital, two of them in the increased care unit in stable condition.
  • During the last 24 hours, police carried out 8,435 checks under the ‘prohibiting unnecessary movement’ decree imposed due to the Covid-19, they announced on Friday. Police booked 261 pedestrians and drivers from 6am on Thursday until 6am on Friday.
    • Nicosia: 2137 checks of drivers and pedestrians, 97 booked
    • Larnaca: 1124 checks of pedestrians and cars, 17 booked
    • Limassol: 1946 cars and pedestrians checked and 60 booked
    • Paphos: 1316 checks, 33 booked
    • Famagusta: 1119 checks, 49 booked
    • Morphou: 402 checks, none booked

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