More than 288,000 approvals were given over the weekend to members of the public who sent out message requests to leave the house by exception, the Cyprus News Agency reports.
Stringent stay at home rules are in force, but both the flood of text messages and the large number of people booked for flouting the decree shows a distinct lack of self-discipline among the public and may pave the way for tougher rules.
The weekend figures were given as the ministerial committee on coronavirus met to review the situation. A total of 35 new cases were reported yesterday, the biggest jump so far. This brings the total to 214. Cyprus also records six deaths.
Kyriaki Pantziarou, who heads the office of the deputy minister for innovation that is implementing the service, that the system had received close to 289,000 SMS on Saturday and Sunday while Friday’s figures were more or less at the same levels.
The system can accept a large volume of messages as it is channeled through various providers, but authorities want the public to stay home.
Members of the public have learnt how to use the system, with 85% to 90% sent in the right format, she added.
Currently there is no limit to the number of text messages an individual can send but the system is in place and can be enforced as soon as the government gives the relevant instructions.
The system can track the number of text messages sent from each phone and a limit may be under consideration, she said.