COVID19: Cyprus cabinet goes into lockdown

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The government went into lockdown Thursday with a cabinet meeting cancelled after Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis contracted COVID-19 with two other ministers self-isolating.

Kadis is also self-isolating, continuing to work from home.

Following Kadis’ announcement on Twitter, all members of the cabinet will be tested for the coronavirus on Thursday.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos and the Interior Minister Nicos Nouris are self-isolating as they have been deemed as close contacts of Kadis.

Two of Kadis’ associates were also found to be positive for the virus.

Government spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos said on Thursday that contact tracing has started but there are no results yet.

“All protocols issued by the health minister have been implemented,” he said. “Many members of the staff of the Presidential Palace have self-isolated.”

On Wednesday, three members of the Presidency’s staff were found positive with both President Nicos Anastasiades and Koushos undergoing tests for the virus.

Koushos said that he and the President had tested negative but will be tested again later on Thursday.

He noted that many members of the Presidential Palace staff have been instructed to self-isolate.

Asked if the source of the Agriculture Minister’s infection is known, Koushos said that Kadis had been in close contact with other members of the cabinet, who are now self-isolating.

Koushos said that if tests show that the rest of the cabinet is in the clear, then another minister will be covering for Kadis.

“We will be probably be tested again on Monday. If no new cases arise then meetings will continue as scheduled”.

Asked how the government will operate in the case more ministers are found to be positive, Koushos said the ministers will have to self-isolate and cabinet meetings will be held online.

Meanwhile, the National Guard announced that 65 conscripts were found positive and another 134 were in self-isolation.

Cyprus has recorded 7,711 COVID cases and 41 deaths, with Limassol and Paphos, deemed as virus hotspots on Lockdown since last Friday.