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Cyprus

Coronavirus: Lockdown to be extended to end of April, Easter to be ‘moved’ – reports

The strict measures to stop the spread of coronavirus will be extended until the end of April while Easter church services may be held over until May, media reports said on Monday.

The reports emerged following the meeting on Monday of the special ministerial committee dealing with the coronavirus which is chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades.

According to the CyBC, the committee’s decision will only be officially announced after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, but other media reports said it was likely the government will extend the duration of the present lockdown.

The cabinet will also discuss with the church potentially moving Easter celebrations to sometime towards the end of May, as an extension on the lockdown would encompass the current date for Easter on April 19.

The cabinet will look into allowing more charter flights to repatriate citizens stuck abroad, reports from the committee meeting said.

“During the meeting, a complete evaluation of the situation was made, and further measures in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic were discussed,” deputy government spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said.

Meanwhile on Monday, police chief Kypros Michaelides said the force will continue to remain vigilant in enforcing the measures in place to stop the spread of the virus.

Commenting after a meeting he had with the heads of the district office headquarters, Michaelides said areas – where there were increased violations in the measures – have seen increased police presence.

Despite reports on Sunday from virologist Dr Leontios Kostrikis that they were optimistic of effectiveness of the measures, as cases dropped to 20 on Sunday, Michaelides said the public should not be complacent, and the police will continue to enforce the measures in place, ‘to protect the health of the public’.

Police, he said, have also been collecting their own data on the regions, based on the complaints and the checks they are running.

“I can say there is a lack of discipline – I will call it that – in the Famagusta, Nicosia, and Larnaca districts. Also, there is increased concern in the Paphos district areas, where most cases have been recorded, as well as in Aradippou,” he said.

Michaelides said the police checks and patrols were being increased in these areas, to ensure the public is following the measures.

“Many, unfortunately, do not understand the danger and believe a weekend or a public holiday are days to enjoy themselves,” he said.

The police chief said in the last day they have received a total of 280 complaints from individuals and a total of 13,000 checks have been conducted since measures were put in place.

 

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