COVID19: Health Ministry to fund more tests as cases rise

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Cyprus’ Health Ministry has requested parliamentary approval for nearly €3 mln in additional COVID-19 funds for more random tests and contact-tracing after several clusters have grown in Larnaca.

Health authorities are currently conducting 3,000 random tests in the Larnaca area and 500 in the Famagusta district village of Achna after a spike in coronavirus cases fuelled by major clusters at two first division team.

Tighter restrictions on social gatherings have been imposed to stem the spread of the virus which has created several clusters in Larnaca of more than 70 infections.

According to a letter sent to the parliamentary committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs, the Health Ministry requests €1.41 mln for assigning new Covid-19 tests to private laboratories and €700,000 for new contact-tracing tests by the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.

The Health Ministry also needs an additional €453,986 for the acquisition of services for thermal imaging cameras at the airports, as well as €107,640 for hiring university students for part-time work for the coordination of public health centres and €280,000 for hiring students for part-time work in support of the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit.

So far Cyprus has carried out over 369,462 tests which correspond to 41.181 per 100,000 population.