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Update – 28/03/2020

  • The Health Ministry announced on Friday that another two people died and another 16 people have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of dead to five and of confirmed cases to 162 (including four in the British Bases). The five dead are four men and one woman with average age of 63 years. 85 of the 162 confirmed cases are from contact with other people found positive to Coronavirus.
  • The House of Representatives on Friday approved a package of support measures to help employees, companies and the self-employed weather the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus epidemic. The package was approved by cabinet and discussed with political parties in depth so as to reflect their input and a number of amendments were made. The 10 bills came before a brief session of the plenary — with fewer MPs as part of precautions to avoid spreading the virus — and were approved by 20 votes in favour and one against, that of ELAM.
  • The bills approved are the €369 m supplementary budgetary bill to cover the support measures for the economy, employees, vulnerable groups and companies affected by the crisis as well as a law authorising the Labour Minister to take the measures needed by the ministry. Parliament also approved the bills on VAT and tax, and the law that keeps contributions to the General Health System at the current rate. The House also approved bills authorising police to issue on the spot fines for those breaking stay at home decrees and increasing the penalty for breaking the law on which the decrees are based.
  • The bills freezing loan instalments and providing government guarantees for €2b in loans aiming to inject liquidity into the economy will be discussed by the House Finance Committee today and will probably go before another session of the House plenary on Sunday.
  • The Postal Services have announced that every effort will be made from Tuesday, March 31, to deliver as many parcels as possible to people’s homes so that members of the public do not need to go to the post office to pick them up.
  • Between 6pm on Friday and 6am on Saturday police booked 129 drivers and pedestrians for violating the government lockdown on free movement, a spokesman told CNA. The violations came during 3,502 checks.
  • Real GDP in Cyprus could decrease by between 3.5 per cent and 9.2 per cent in 2020, according to a study published by Nicosia-based research consultancy Sapienta Economics on the effects of coronavirus on the island’s economy. However, the study indicates that the tourism and retail sectors’ downfalls would be partly offset by an increase in food sales, healthcare and public spending.

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