Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela on Thursday praised healthcare professionals in Cyprus for their dedication and hard work throughout the Covid pandemic, saying it was thanks to their ‘heroic’ efforts that the system was able to cope.

He was speaking at a special ceremony thanking healthcare professionals for their performance during the pandemic, which he called “a historic moment.”

“When the ‘invisible enemy’ of the coronavirus pandemic came into our homes uninvited, some had to face it head on. In this great challenge, you stepped up to the plate and went above and beyond,” Hadjipantelas read from a prepared statement.

The minister also said that the cabinet took all the measures necessitated by the Covid emergency.

“We followed closely the guidelines of the relevant bodies and the research of the scientific community from across the globe.

“It is thanks to the efforts of all that a wall of protection was raised up high around Cyprus. The healthcare system held its own. At a time when health systems in major countries had trouble coping, Cyprus was a role model in the European space. Our mortality rate was very low, and lower than the EU average.”

Attending the function was President Nicos Anastasiades, other dignitaries, and Hans Kluge, the World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Europe.