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COVID19: Cyprus praised by EU for vaccinations, tests

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European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides praised Cyprus for vaccinating over 16% of its population, and the number of COVID-19 tests conducted weekly making it a leader in Europe.

On Tuesday, the Health Ministry confirmed that 149,382 people had been vaccinated — 107,485 received the first jab of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 41,897 have had both doses.

This means that 16.6% of Cyprus’ 900,000 population has received at least one dose of an EU approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Cyprus aims to vaccinate over 60% of the adult population with at least the first jab by June.

After meeting President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday, the EU Health Commissioner said Cyprus is “among the top countries in all of Europe regarding vaccination coverage.”

President Anastasiades said the commissioner briefed him on how the EU was addressing the pandemic and the stuttered vaccination rollout.

“The shield of protection grows…so does hope for a return to our daily lives safely,” said Anastasiades.

According to data published last week by the Health Ministry, Cyprus tops the EU charts for COVID-19 testing while ranking fifth in the 27-member bloc for its vaccination rollout.

The Health Ministry said Cyprus would continue to rely on free mass rapid testing to keep coronavirus in check, as one-fifth of the population took a COVID-19 test last week.

Cyprus carried out an average of 35,947 tests for every 100,000 inhabitants from March 15 to 21; 314,182 were PCR and rapid tests, with the majority (291,789) being rapid tests.

That translates to more than 20% of the population over 12 being tested in a week.