Five new Covid-19 cases were detected on Monday, paving the way for the gradual relaxation of the lockdown measures in the next few days. This brings the total number to 822, including 10 in the British bases. The new cases are a result of 1,796 tests carried out. One man with underlying health conditions has died, bringing the total deaths to 20. Of these 15 have been directly linked to coronavirus, 11 men and 4 women.
There will be a phased easing of containment measures relating to the coronavirus, lasting perhaps until early August, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Monday. He was speaking to a local television channel shortly after the conclusion of the inter-ministerial meeting that discussed the gradual lifting of restrictions following the decline in Covid-19 cases over the past week. On Tuesday the inter-ministerial committee will be presenting its proposals to President Nicos Anastasiades; and on Wednesday the cabinet will formally decide the drawdown measures. Ioannou said the relaxations will occur in three or fours stages, with each relaxation and its outcome assessed on an ongoing basis. “All this will take place in three or four phases, until late July or early August,” Ioannou said. He added that authorities anticipate a small increase in Covid-19 cases once activity opens up. The uptick would be monitored, ensuring it fell within certain bounds. “We have won the battle, but not the war,” he said. “We shall have to learn to live with the coronavirus for some time longer. Until a vaccine or an effective medicine becomes available, social distancing and personal hygiene should be strictly adhered to.”
The health ministry issued a decree Monday allowing the conditional entry into the Republic of people who work on drillships or support vessels operating in the island’s exclusive economic zone. According to the decree, the crews would have to be placed in self isolation for 14 days before their arrival and test negative for coronavirus. The company that employs them will transport them from the airport to the port of departure.
In April 2020, economic sentiment in Cyprus deteriorated further as the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI-CypERC) of the University of Cyprus decreased by 21.9 points compared with March 2020, suffering a historically large drop. According to an Economic Research Centre report, in April ESI-CypERC declined below its long-run average, suggesting a grim outlook for economic activity in Cyprus, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The decrease in ESI-CypERC was driven by worsening confidence in services, retail trade and industry, as well as weakening consumer confidence.
The Chinese city of Guanghzou has donated 50,000 masks to Cyprus which will be distributed islandwide, China’s ambassador in Nicosia Huang Xingyuan said on Monday.
Around 550 volunteers registered with the office of the Commissioner for Volunteerism have delivered personal items to some 2200 people in compulsory quarantine at various hotels, as well as medicine and other help to hundreds others. Overall, 1400 people have registered as volunteers while the National Guard and members of the Presidential Guard are ready to help whenever necessary, it said.
Coronavirus cases continue to edge down in Cyprus as the week April 20-26, 50 new cases were reported compared to 134 the week before (April 13-19), a 62% drop. This is the second-best week from the beginning of the crisis, the first being in mid-March when 30 cases were recorded. The number of tests performed last week edged down – albeit remaining at high levels – to 14,337 compared to 16,064 the week before.
There was a spike in the number of movement violations overnight, police spokesman Christos Andreou told CyBC on Monday morning with a total of 125 pedestrians and drivers booked after 4620 checks. This is up from the 87 who were booked from Saturday night to Sunday morning. The spokesman said overall on Sunday (from 6 am on Sunday to 6 pm on Monday) a total of 297 people were booked.
A total of 467,240 movement requests sent to the state’s 8998 system over the weekend were approved, according to the latest figures from the deputy ministry of research, innovation and digital policy, CNA reports. It said that Saturday’s requests were down on those of the previous Saturday while those of Sunday were higher than on Easter Sunday. On Saturday, the public sent a total of 265,374 valid requests of which 257,976 were approved. On Sunday, of the 214,875 valid requests, 209,264 were approved. The largest number of requests on Saturday where under category 2 — that is to go to a supermarket or a pharmacy — with 131,762 text messages.