In a televised address on the occasion of Easter, President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday once more urged the general public to continue to comply with the lockdown rules so that Cyprus can emerge from the coronavirus crisis.
No decision has been taken on when the lockdown will be eased he added, as this will depend on the outbreak and adherence to the measures.
Here is the official translation of his address as sent by the PIO:
My thoughts, these Holy days, are with those who have been infected with the virus, with those who are going through the ordeal and the agony of survival, with those who have lost loved ones.
I wish everyone strength and courage.
My thoughts are also with those who are anxious about the uncertainty of tomorrow, whether employees or entrepreneurs.
My thoughts are focused, at the same time, on those who are rightly called frontline heroes, healthcare professionals, police officers, fire-fighters, National Guard personnel, Civil Defence executives, gamekeepers, volunteers, employees of various vital private or public services, in order to meet the daily human needs, but also to keep hope alive;
As I honour all of you who are being tested as a result of unwanted but mandatory restrictions;
Restrictions that deprive us of our freedom of movement and choice, of contact with our loved ones, of the right to express, especially these days, our respect and faith, the right to live and rejoice as we used to, on Easter.
It is for all these feelings of gratitude that I have toward all of you that I would like to say a big thank you because thanks to your professionalism, sacrifice, patience and patriotism, I am confident that we will succeed again.
Hopes have been rising in recent days, but they do not signal the end.
Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go, with the same prudence.
During yesterday’s meeting of the Council of Ministers, and as always, taking into account the advice of the Scientific Team, we decided on the strategy for gradual relaxation of the measures.
I want to be precise and clear.
What we have decided is the strategy, not the date of the implementation of the decision.
The implementation will depend and is completely interwoven with the course of the reduction in the number of cases, i.e. the progress of the continued strict observance of the restrictive measures, the mutual respect and the solidarity that the overwhelming majority is exhibiting.
There is no room for mistakes; no complacency is allowed.
What seems to be under control today may easily, if we ignore the risk, become uncontrollable the next day.
That is why, in my address today, in addition to a message of hope, respect and love, I want to convey the need not to allow emotions to prevail over reason.
I know it is painful to ask of Christians to suspend their religious practices, to ask of one’s fellow citizens to abstain from worship or other events associated with the Resurrection of the God-man, or even to experience the joys of spring.
But for this year, it is absolutely necessary to patiently face our trials, to live, if you will, our own Golgotha.
Moreover, don’t forget that Golgotha is always followed by the Resurrection.
That is why I appeal to everyone, once again:
Strictly follow the protective measures; avoid unnecessary travel; do not succumb to the temptation to visit your villages or cottages.
Do not listen to the dissidents who identify faith in God with the choice of death.
Listen to the prudent voices of the Ecumenical Patriarch and of the Head of the Church of Cyprus.
“Today, our faith is not in danger; the health of the faithful is”.
Thanks to your own sacrifices and our own determination to take early on the tough measures that we are all experiencing, improvements are being made every day, and the hope for full mitigation is becoming even more apparent.
I want to assure you that with the help of the scientific team we have designed every step, every measure to cope with the pandemic.
With the same prudence, we plan, in cooperation with the political forces and the social partners, to also deal with the consequences of the unprecedented crisis that has befallen humankind.
I ask you to trust me once again. With your cooperation and the support of the country’s political forces, which I would like to warmly thank once again, I assure you that we will succeed.
I wish I was able at this time to shake the hand of each and every one of you, to express my thanks and gratitude;
To wish you all a Happy Easter, strength and courage.
Unfortunately, despite my wish, I cannot do that; as I will not be able to hug my children and my grandchildren.
Please do the same for the good of your loved ones.
If we are deprived of contact with them today, we will be sure to embrace them tomorrow.
I wish everyone a Happy Easter.