COVID19: Cyprus buys another 400,000 rapid tests

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The cabinet has approved Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou’s proposal to purchase an additional 400,000 rapid antigen tests to systematically monitor the epidemiological picture of Cyprus and contain coronavirus.

A statement by the Health Ministry said the additional rapid tests will be used to expand the testing of the general population that is already underway.

It said this will contribute to the early detection of transmission chains and consequently help to immediately isolate individuals with a positive result, to reduce the chances of the virus spreading.

Also, more tests will be carried out in military camps while a screening program for rapid tests will be implemented at schools.

The Health Ministry said the rapid tests will be used to intensify testing of staff (weekly) and residents (monthly) in care homes, rehabilitation centres and other residential structures from next week, once the molecular testing (PCR) programme is complete.

A team of 40 volunteer students from medical schools in Cyprus will help ensure that health measures and protocols in places like care homes are fully implemented.

A network of volunteers will assist in informing and monitoring the implementation of protocols in the workplace.

Care homes, schools and places of work are areas where infections occur and spread more regularly.