A municipal worker disinfects the area near St Lazarus church in Larnaca
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COVID19: Larnaca now epicentre of Cyprus pandemic

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Larnaca is at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Cyprus with nearly 60 infections and scores of people in self-isolation with several cluster transmissions growing, said virologist Leondios Kostrikis.

The government advisor on COVID-19 said Larnaca will see local restrictions on gatherings at social events and hospitality areas but ruled out a lockdown.

“The chain of infections in Larnaca raises concerns among the scientific committee. We monitor closely the way things evolve, together with the Minister, we are ready to implement measures in Larnaca, if and when deemed necessary,” Dr Kostrikis told CNA.

He said measures will be similar to those implemented in Limassol when there was another outbreak in August.

“Measure will deal with limiting the number of people at gatherings, the possibility of limiting the number of people in closed and outdoor spaces of restaurants and similar issues.”

There are around 60 cases across all Larnaca clusters.

There are four major clusters with the Larnaca Bishopric being the largest.

There is also a cluster from the Ocean Basket restaurant on Larnaca’s beachfront, another at the Golden Bay hotel and Nea Salamina football club.

The latter is the cause of a new cluster at a second first division team (Ethnikos Achnas).

Kostrikis ruled out the possibility of a new lockdown, saying that this scenario is remote and is not deemed to be necessary right now.

“We need local measures focusing on the number of people gathering,”

He said people were not observing hygiene and social distancing rules among family contacts or in the professional or social realms.

“Therefore there is an increase in these clusters.”

On the situation in schools, the professor said that there are no serious signs of an outbreak, but said that people should be extremely careful.

“The use of masks should not be eliminated for any reason, either for teachers or pupils.”

In winter, Kostrikis said, the transmission of the virus increases, as people tend to stay indoors when it is cold, and this facilitates contagion.

“The epidemic will be eradicated through vaccination, as was the case with other contagious diseases.” (source CNA)