Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Anastasiades tours deserted capital to check lockdown ‘first-hand’

President Nicos Anastasiades took a tour of the capital Nicosia in a state limo on Wednesday morning to check that the lockdown procedures he announced on Monday were being implemented.

Government spokesman Kyriakos Kousios told Cybc that the president went to various areas of Nicosia “to see the situation first-hand” and that he was”very satisfied” by what he saw. The presidential convoy travelled without sirens and flashing lights, which normally occurs when he is driven anywhere the city. .

The streets of the capital were completely deserted after the lockdown measures came into effect on Tuesday at 6pm.

Police were out in force making sure anyone on the streets, motorists and pedestrians had a good reason to be out and to show this on paper.

They booked 31 people overnight islandwide Tuesday for violations.

The SMS system setup by the government to allow easy permission to be granted by dialling 8998 crashed Tuesday evening when 35,000 requests were sent in the space of half an hour.

Kousios said the president had consulted Wednesday with ministers to see how the problem could be resolved, and some announcements could be expected later in the day.

In the meantime, people are asked to print off a copy of the permission slips and if they have no printer to hand-write the template and fill in the details on a piece of paper.

Kousios said that this problem with the SMS system was expected to be resolved by late afternoon. He said the president had given clear instructions on how long people would be allowed outside and on other issues pertaining to the teething problems experienced on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and to matters of data privacy.

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