Another 20 tested positive to Covid-19 in the Republic of Cyprus, raising the total to 735 as experts applaud the stabilisation of figures on the island while global numbers continue to rise.
Cases were found at a Nicosia branch of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) as well as in Larnaca at the airport Customs Department and the local Tax Department office.
A new study published yesterday by the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit with data up to April 14 shows that the mortality rate from the virus in Cyprus stands at 2.4% with the majority of positive cases still affecting healthcare workers at a rate of 22.9%. Read the full report here.
The Health Ministry has acted on a new decree that allows it ‘for reasons of public health’ to publish the names of businesses where workers have been found positive to the virus by announcing yesterday that cases were found in Paphos at a Bank of Cyprus branch and the local office of the Lands and Surveys Department.
More decree updates took place yesterday with the Health Ministry announcing that bakeries and patisseries must now remain closed on Easter Sunday and the Transport Ministry extended the ban on flights by 13 days as the Finance Ministry clarified that it aims at controlled and gradual repatriations of Cypriots and legal residents stranded abroad.
Cyprus is boosted with more medical supplies with the Health Ministry announcing that more than 9 million face masks will arrive in two batches, and seven tonnes of medical cargo from China landing at Larnaca airport in the small hours of Friday.
Paphos airport meanwhile is temporarily suspending operations to save on costs.
Payments by the Labour Ministry of the special allowances to workers adversely affected by the crisis continued on Thursday. In response to questions from the public on the scheme, including on the way it calculates the allowances, the Ministry published a list of Frequently Asked Questions to address them.
Suspension of loans by the island’s financial institutions is also ongoing, with more than 40,000 applications received by the two largest banks until yesterday.
Easter wishes flooded in from officials on Thursday amid the adverse climate — including of the British Forces Commander — with President Anastasiades delivering his in a televised address in which he clarified as regards a much talked about preliminary government plan to gradually reopen businesses that “What we have decided is the strategy, not the date of the implementation of the decision.”
Concerns mount over a potential increase in gatherings over the Easter weekend, with police ramping up measures for checks that include the deployment of drones and helicopters.
In the latest lockdown violation numbers by police, another 68 people were booked overnight for flouting the stay at home decree, ten of whom were found attending a Good Thursday church service.
It will be a gloomy Easter for some isolated Covid patients as loneliness kicks in ahead of the holiday, with one admitting that “every day feels the same.”
And finally, a ray of hope as one of London’s oldest coronavirus survivors, UK Cypriot Maritsa Tsioupra aged 93, has recovered from the virus against all odds after spending several weeks in hospital.