COVID19: Cyprus cases hit record low as lockdown exit begins

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Cyprus has reported the lowest number of coronavirus cases since the outbreak started on 9 March with just two new infections as the lockdown begins to end.

Both positive tests for COVID-19 involved people who have recently returned to Cyprus from Europe, but not the UK, the Health Ministry said.

The cases were identified after some 1,491 tests were carried out on Monday, taking the confirmed total to 874.

New cases have stayed stable in single-digit figures for more than a week, with Monday’s cases dropping to two from Sunday’s eight.

Nobody was found to be positive from 436 tests on frontline workers, nor out of 66 tests carried out on contacts of known coronavirus cases.

Since April 11, some 19,471 tests have been carried out on frontline workers in the public and private sector.

Authorities launched another scheme for testing 20,000 client-facing employees for retail stores that reopened on Monday.

Health Ministry experts presenting Monday’s data were also pleased to report that the number of people hospitalised is dropping.

Some 11 people are inpatients at Famagusta General, which operates as the COVID-19 reference hospital. Two of them are in the Acute Care Unit.

Their condition is described as stable, two people were discharged from the hospital.

Five patients are breathing with the help of a ventilator, one at Limassol General Hospital ICU and four at Nicosia General Hospital ICU.

One more patient is being treated at Nicosia General Hospital’s ICU but is not on a ventilator.

The condition of all patients in the ICUs is described as “critical but stable.”

Monday’s data coincides with the first stage of easing restrictions on free movement which saw civil servants, employees at construction sites and retail shops going back to work.

Presenting the epidemiological data regarding new COVID-19 cases, Member of the epidemiological committee, Dr Leontios Kostrikis said the record low number of new confirmed cases coincided with the first day of lifting restrictions.

He urged people to abide by the guidelines and protective measures: “Today’s data are a reflection of our behaviour a few days back. The way we behave today will be reflected in the results of the coming days”.