Cyprus Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has told CNA that recent Covid-19 cases with no epidemiological connection, the so-called ‘orphan’ cases, are worrying and that in the coming days randomised testing on 3,000 people across the island will take place.
Replying to a question, Ioannou said that it is important that people who tested positive to the virus and had symptoms acted appropriately and communicated with their personal doctor or were tested privately on their own initiative.
“Having said this, I would like to urge once more our compatriots to immediately get in touch with their personal doctor if they present with coronavirus symptoms,” such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sudden onset of loss of smell or taste, he noted.
In this way we will be able to confirm COVID-19 cases quickly, to contain them and trace their contacts, he added.
Asked about the possibility of localised lockdowns in Cyprus, Ioannou said the Ministry of Health is monitoring very carefully the epidemiological picture.
“Right now, there are no thoughts for a localised lockdown, since we believe that the situation can be managed,” he replied.
He explained that the government is continuing with tests on population groups. “In view of recent community transmitted cases, we wish to examine the extent the virus is present in the community,” he said.
To that end, the Health Minister announced that random tests on 3,000 people across Cyprus will take place, with an emphasis on Limassol District, where most local cases have been reported.
He urged citizens to take advantage of the programme and to get tested, contributing in this way to the country’s good epidemiological picture.
“We will be able to announce further details on the programme in the coming days,” he said.
At the same time, Ioannou stressed that everyone ought to continue to follow individual hygiene measures “religiously” and to avoid coming into contact with many other people where it is possible.
He also reiterated that the use of a protective face mask is mandatory for people who work in customer service posts, such as cashiers and salespersons in super markets and shops, employees in restaurants who serve people or prepare food and beverages.
The Minister of Health also pointed out that the good epidemiological picture Cyprus has achieved so far depends exclusively on individual behaviour. No protocol, no checks from relevant authorities will have a good outcome if everyone’s behaviour is not as responsible, mature and disciplined as it was in previous months, he noted.