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Coronavirus: All eyes on Cabinet as cases surge


Should the number of positive Covid-19 cases increase even more in the next weeks, the government will have no choice but to revert to stricter measures, according to Maria Koliou, a member of the scientific team.

On Tuesday, the health ministry announced a record 941 cases of coronavirus in the island.

A 69-year-old man also died at Nicosia general hospital after being treated in the ICU unit. He had received the first dose of the vaccine.

The death toll now stands at 295 — 195 men and 100 women. The total number of positives to date is 58,022.

The government announced earlier this week that there will be no relaxations during Easter, bar a possible increase in the number of people allowed to gather in homes and a curfew reduction.

However, the record number of cases announced on Tuesday might change the scenario. Final decisions are expected to be announced by the Council of Ministers after their meeting on Thursday.

Koliou, an Assistant Professor of Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Cyprus, told state radio on Wednesday that the scientific team is opposed to any relaxations during the Easter period and that all decisions will have to primarily take into account the strain on hospitals in the island.

The number of hospital admissions has been steadily rising in recent days with new record numbers recorded daily.

According to spokesman of Okypy (state health services organisation) Charalambos Charilaou, the daily number of patients is around 280 which is very high. With the number of positive cases rising daily, hospitals are bracing for more admissions.

“It may be possible that ten people will be allowed to meet at a house and that more people will be allowed at churches on Easter day, but nothing more than that,” Koliou said.

Speaking to SigmaLive on Wednesday, scientific advisor Petros Karayiannis suggested that churches carry their services outdoors, in order to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

“Over the past year, many churches have already carried out their services outside, so I believe this should also be the case for this Easter, so as to minimise the spread of the virus in the community,” he said.

Karayiannis also expressed his hope that no additional measures would need to be taken in the upcoming days.

“I hope not to see that one of these days we will have over 1,000 daily positive cases, but it is a realistic scenario and we all need to be prepared.”

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