Despite signs of stabilisation, current figures reflect the wide spread of coronavirus in the community with the next few days expected to provide a clearer picture, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Tuesday.
Ioannou said he had briefed the cabinet on the current epidemiological situation based on information provided by the scientific advisory committee.
“According to the evaluation of the updated data, the increased infection numbers, hospital admissions, and ICU patients, reflect the burdened epidemiological situation in Cyprus, as is the case in the rest of Europe, with most countries in a state of strict restrictions,” the minister said in a written statement.
“The wide dispersion of the virus in Cyprus is confirmed by the large number of cases recorded daily despite their immediate detection and isolation through contact tracing.”
Ioannou said a more accurate picture would emerge in the next few days when scientists will assess the results of a recent ease in restrictions in the hospitality sector.
Based on the current data, the cabinet reaffirmed that the de-escalation strategy will be guided with a view to avoid setbacks.
Because of the situation, the cabinet decided not to reopen gymnasiums before the beginning of April.
Speaking after the meeting, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said there would be no changes to the initial plan by the health ministry that sees children return on April 2.
Officials will discuss the matter at the cabinet meeting next week “at the same time with the expiration of the health minister’s decree”, Prodromou added.
Gymnasiums concern the first three grades of high school.
The government has been criticised by parent associations who protested outside the presidential palace on Monday, demanding their children return to school, citing educational and psychological reasons.
“The cases of children who have depression and PTSD have increased during the pandemic and many of them started treatment,” said the head of the Pancyprian Federation of Parent Associations Charalambos Dionysiou.
Lyceum pupils (fourth, fifth, and sixth years) do attend school, as well as primary school pupils except for Limassol which had an upsurge in coronavirus cases.
Parents criticised the decision to only keep gymnasium students at home as illogical since the hospitality sector also reopened earlier this month.