The government has decided not to roll back lockdown measures on shopping malls, hospitality and churches, as COVID-19 infections remained stubbornly high on Wednesday with 401 new cases and one death.
The total of all infections since the pandemic started is 16,190.
Earlier in the day, a cabinet meeting was not convinced that the situation in Cyprus allowed for relaxations, but the situation will be reassessed on December 23, the ministers said.
The initial ‘light lockdown’ was introduced with a 9pm curfew and all restautrants, cars and cafés, as well as cinemas and theatres remaining shut until New Year’s Eve due to the coronavirus surge in recent weeks.
An 81 year old man with underlying health issues died at the Covid-referral clinic of the Famagusta General hospital, raising the toll since the pandemic started to 85. December alone has so far accounted for 40 of the deaths, making it the worst month to date.
Some 125 patients are being treated for SARS-CoV-2 in state hospitals, 26 in critical state, according to the health ministry. Of these, 66 have been admitted to the Famagusta Covid clinic.
This number is up from Tuesday’s 122 patients and 22 critical, when the government released its vaccination programme that will start in late January and continue to the summer.
In all, 12,358 tests were conducted on Wednesday – 4,510 using the PCR molecular method and 7,848 antigen rapid tests.
PCR diagnosed 221 and 180 from rapid tests
The PCR tests diagnosed 221 cases of COVID-19, with a further 180 being confirmations of the less-accurate rapid tests from previous days. Two returned with a negative result.
The day’s rapid tests produced 220 new cases that will now require confirmation.
These were mainly in Nicosia (77 cases), Larnaca (50), Limassol (38), Famgusta (9) and Paphos (5).
A further 22 cases were identified from 981 rapid tests in old people’s home and community care centres.
The health ministry said these were from care homes in Kaimakli in Nicosia and Evrykhou village.
The infections have once again stalled the football championship, with APOEL FC announcing another six members of its squad have coronavirus, raising the total to 24 players and club staff.
The Cyprus Football Association is investigating whether protocols were broken, with arch rival Omonia charging that the other Nicosia club knowingly included an infected player in its starting eleven. On December 7.
Omonia said three of its players have tested positive for coronavirus, while it unknowingly went on to play Dutch side PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League last Thursday.
For our daily news updates on COVID-19, follow the link: https://www.financialmirror.com/covid-19-cyprus/