Authorities late on Thursday announced 11 extra coronavirus cases, on top of 93 reported earlier, bringing the total to 104, the highest daily tally so far in Cyprus.
Shortly after the numbers were released, President Nicos Anastasiades took to Twitter, calling on the public to strictly adhere to the measures in place.
“I appeal to all my fellow citizens: At this time we have to show strength once more, we have to meticulously observe hygiene measures and wear our mask in order to protect our family, our loved ones, but also ourselves,” he said.
On the latest cases, the health ministry said only that they were still being contact-traced and that more information would be released at a later time. The only detail given was that the 93 positives initially announced had come from 3,877 lab tests.
Thursday’s 104 positives have taken the cumulative total to 2,285 since the first-ever Covid-19 case was recorded back in March. It was also the first time that daily cases went into triple digits.
In a separate statement, the health ministry said the high numbers “confirm that there exists complacency within the community, leading to the spread of the virus.
“Failure to adopt personal protection measures and social distancing by a section of the public, and non-compliance with hygiene protocols by a section of businesses, is causing transmission of the virus inside the familial, social and work environments, and the risk of derailment is visible.”
The ministry again appealed to the public to be careful and to comply with recommendations and protocols:
“Until a vaccine or treatment are found, our only protection is ‘Hands-Masks-Distancing’.”
Thursday’s 104 cases come on the back of what is now second-highest daily record of 83, also registered this week, on Tuesday. Wednesday’s tally came to 51.
Authorities did release details on the condition and provenance of Wednesday’s 51 cases, of which 11 reported no symptoms.
Three related to contacts of the cluster of nursing students at Limassol’s Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak), and also another contact related to the same university.
Three more were linked to the Happy Teeth Paediatric Clinic in Larnaca – a father, a mother, and a housemaid – none of whom presented symptoms at the time of testing positive.
Another eight got tested on their own initiative.
Three cases were traced to the work environment.
Speaking on the CyBC evening news bulletin, Dr Maria Koliou, a member of the health advisory committee, said the numbers show a “worsening” situation island-wide.
Covid-19 is spreading across all districts, and a number of identified clusters are expanding.
Asked whether new restrictions might be needed, Koliou said it would depend on hospital and ICU capacity, which in turn depends on the severity signature of cases in the population.
“If you’ve got several people convalescing at home with mild symptoms, that doesn’t put stress on the healthcare system.”
On whether Cypriots should expect a new nationwide lockdown, as in the spring, the doctor said that would be the last resort:
“No government wants to do that. It entails a huge cost to the economy and to society. A lockdown – should it be decided – would depend on the trajectory of admissions to hospitals.”
Back in March, when the coronavirus first arrived on the island, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou had said that, if need be, authorities could generate a capacity of 126 ICU beds for coronavirus patients.
Currently, there are five people receiving treatment for Covid-19 at the Famagusta reference hospital. Two more patients are intubated in ICU at the Nicosia general hospital. And two more patients are being treated at other healthcare facilities.