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COVID19: Concern grows in Cyprus as all 4 new cases from schools

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A student tested at the Pancyprian high school in Nicosia

Just as Cyprus was getting used to the idea of a slowdown in new COVID-19 cases and that all schools would reopen next week, the Ministry of Health announced four new coronavirus infections on Saturday, all from tests at schools.

The ministry said in its daily briefing that from the results of 1,564 tests for SARS-CoV-2, four cases were found from among teachers and students. No other new cases were reported among past coronavirus infections, from the hospitals and front line staff in the private sector, nor from workers at construction sites or the retail sector.

The Ministry of Education, that allowed only graduating students from high schools to return to class earlier in the week, confirmed the four new cases, saying there were two infected students at the Aradippou Lyceum, one staff member at a kindergarten in Paphos and one at a lyceum in Nicosia district.

Parents of elementary and middle secondary schools have been campaigning for schools not to open, as there were only a few weeks left to the end of term, with a high risk of pupils and teachers being infected, especially among younger ages that are difficult to discipline and impose strict social distancing schools.

Many private schools, as well as universities have decided not to open at all and are continuing to finish their terms using e-learning and online classrooms.

The health ministry added that the total cases of coronavirus infections in Cyprus had reached 914.

Four patients were being treated at the Famagusta hospital, all in ‘good condition’, while one was given the all-clear and released. Three patients at Nicosia General remain in the intensive care ward, in critical but stable condition, and once confirmed case among all hospitals.