Cyprus announced one more death on Thursday, an elderly man aged 86, with the total for all deaths directly attributed to COVID-19 rising to 34, as two towns went into partial lockdown.
The average age for all deaths is 75 years, with just over two thirds in recent weeks from Limassol and Paphos, prompting the new restrictions.
The curfew for the two towns, the epicentres of the biggest number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the past month, started at 8pm, three hours earlier than the rest of the island, with movements generally restricted as of Friday and until the end of the month.
The labour and finance ministers announced additional support measures and furlough subsidies for those workers and companies directly affected by the closures in Limassol and Paphos, with the cost estimated at about €30 mln a month.
The government’s epidemiologists have been warning about a surge in new daily cases, due mainly to a lack of implementation of health protocols in the two affected towns, especially among younger people.
This, they say, will also increase the burden on the hospitals and the special wards treating coronavirus patients.
The health ministry said that as of Thursday, 68 patients were being treated, five less than Wednesday.
They are mainly at the Covid19-reference hospital at Famagusta General, as well as Nicosia General and the state hospital in Limassol, where whole floors are being prepared to treat virus patients only.
The health ministry announced 185 new SARS-CoV-2 cases on Thursday, 20 more than the day before. This raises the total number of infections since the pandemic started to 6,646.
For the first time in a while, of the 353 samples taken from passengers arriving at Larnaca and Paphos airports, there were no positive cases.