Medical and healthcare workers in the struggle to tackle coronavirus, at Nicosia General Hospital, Cyprus

COVID19: Cyprus health plan derailed as cases leap to 104

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Cyprus announced a record 104 cases of SARS-CoV-2 on Thursday, double the previous day’s figure and derailing the national health plan with the health ministry saying “this confirms there is complacency in society, which is leading to the rapid spread of the virus.”

Health officials initially announced 93 new coronavirus cases, but revised that number by a further 11 late on Thursday, raising the total in the Republic of Cyprus to 2,285.

The health ministry, that reported several clusters had formed in recent days, especially in Limassol where health and safety protocols were clearly ignored, said that “the non-observance of the measures of personal protection and social distancing by some citizens, but also of the health protocols by businesses, causes transmission of the virus in the family, social and work environment, with the visible risk of derailment.”

Earlier on Thursday, the ministry banned the use of shisha pipes or hookahs, a popular pastime in cafés and bars, that seem to be the cause of rapid transmission of the Covid-19 infection, where personal hygiene measures were not maintained when sharing a ‘hubbly bubbly’.

In two cafés in Limassol, a hookah distributor is seen as the cause of transmission, while a number of students from the Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK) were infected, including many from the nursing school, where one would assume they are taught about measures of personal hygiene.

Commenting from Brussels, where he is attending  the EU leaders’ council meeting, President Anastasiades issued a statement appealing to all to maintain health rules and wear a mask.

“I appeal to all my fellow citizens. At this time we need to be as strong as possible, to meticulously observe the hygiene measures, and to wear our mask in order to protect the family, our loved ones, but also ourselves.”