Cyprus health officials reported 188 new SARS-CoV-2 cases on Thursday, dangerously approaching the 202 announced last Saturday, with the total number of coronavirus for October one short of 1,400 amid stricter new measures introduced on a daily basis.
The total Covid-19 infections in the Republic of Cyprus since March has reached 3,154, which when added to the cases in the Turkish occupied north, takes the islandwide figure to beyond 4,000.
Earlier in the day, the authorities said masks must be worn in all areas, including outdoors, with late-night curfews imposed on Limassol and Paphos.
Wearing masks outdoors will become obligatory while a night-time curfew is to be imposed in the Limassol and Paphos districts after 11 pm from Friday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said.
After a cabinet meeting on Thursday to review the worsening COVID crisis, the Health Minister said that the use of masks will be mandatory everywhere, including “public open spaces”.
The ministry of health said it conducted 4,304 tests in the last 24 hours, with 22 positive results from contact tracing. A quarter of the tests, or 1,069 were at Larnaca and Paphos airports, with only 7 positive results.
One case was reported form the nationwide programme targeting football clubs, while tests in schools, migrants camps and care homes were negative.
The luxury Anassa Hotel in Polis Chrysochous, Paphos announced it is suspending operations after 13 of its staff contracted coronavirus.
Anassa’s owner Thanos Hotels said in a statement it has informed the Ministry of Health that 13 staff members of the five-star Paphos hotel have tested positive for Covid-19.
The health ministry said 26 patients are currently being treated in state hospitals, one more than the day before.
Meanwhile, Constantinos Tsioutis, an expert in infection prevention said Cyprus will continue to record three-digit numbers of coronavirus cases as the situation needs weeks to get under control.
The government expert said in the last few days, Cyprus recorded more than 900 cases, more than one-third of the total number since the outbreak.
Tsioutis said that tougher measures announced by the government will take many weeks to bear fruit.