COVID-19: Cyprus cases spiral out of control at 202

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Cyprus is fighting a losing battle in containing a much larger second wave of coronavirus after recording a record 202 COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

The figure is double the 94 cases on Friday and suggests the virus is spreading at a rapid pace as Cypriots fail to follow hygiene and social distancing protocols.

With the latest spike confirmed after 4,966 tests total infections in Cyprus have reached 2,581.

Some 42 new infections were linked to known cases while another 126 were found via private tests.

Another eight cases were detected from random testing in Larnaca and Famagusta villages and seven from hospital labs.

There are 16 patients at the COVID hospital in Famagusta with another eight expected to be admitted.

Two patients are on a ventilator at Nicosia General Hospital.

As Cyprus tackles an unprecedented jump in coronavirus cases, measures limiting household and social gatherings will be enforced nationally while Limassol restaurants must close at 10.30 pm.

New measures come into force on Sunday for two weeks in an attempt to contain COVID-19.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said 70% of new cases over the past few days were in Limassol.

The government’s Advisory Epidemiological Committee met for a crisis session Saturday chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades.

Ioannou told reporters afterwards that measures in place for the districts of Nicosia and Limassol are extended across Cyprus for two weeks.

Islandwide measures are as follows:

Individuals are permitted to attend gatherings in households and public meeting areas not exceeding 10 people, including underage children.

Places of worships can only have a maximum of 75 people.

Official sports fixtures must be conducted without spectators.

The maximum number of persons allowed to be served in catering establishments is set at 75 for indoor spaces and 150 for outdoor spaces.

Cinemas, theatres and event halls are allowed a maximum 50% of capacity.

Cocktail parties and receptions at weddings and christenings are banned.

A physical presence is only allowed at lunch or dinner, with a maximum number of 350 sitting down to eat.

Vulnerable groups and anyone aged 60 or over have priority in at supermarkets and visits to the pharmacy between 8-9 am.

These measures begin on 18 October until the 2 November.

Limassol measures

For Limassol, all premises that provide food services must close at 10.30 pm and residents are advised to limit their movement after 11.30 pm, although there is no ban on movement after this time.

Measures for Limassol are active from 18 October until 26 October.