Hours before the new year sails in and a total lockdown looms over Cyprus with new coronavirus cases breaking records and hospitals sounding alarm bells.
“We are just one step before total lockdown, the health system is on the brink of collapse,” Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told state radio early on Thursday.
“A total lockdown is our last resort, we are aware of its financial and other consequences and that’s why we are constantly monitoring the country’s epidemiological data. But health is above all,” he added.
The Council of Ministers is set to meet next week to review the situation and take decisions on the next steps in government efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
Two more people died from Covid-19, as 704 new cases of the virus were detected over the past 24 hours out of a total of 17,451 tests carried out.
The number of people in Cyprus who died from the virus since March has now risen to 119. And the number of cases detected so far is 22,019, according to health authorities.
At the same time, 159 people were being treated in hospital, 41 in critical condition.