Amid the ongoing heatwave affecting Cyprus, the social welfare deputy ministry has conducted surprise inspections of nursing homes in Nicosia and while most facilities were found to be adhering to health protocols, some were found to be operating without functioning air conditioning units.

Deputy Welfare Minister Marilena Evangelou on Friday said that the inspections were carried out to underline “the heightened vigilance required to protect vulnerable people during extreme weather.”

A labour ministry spokesperson told the Cyprus Mail that the nursing homes currently in violation of safety protocols have been fined, adding that more inspections will take place in the coming days and throughout the summer.

In addition, the deputy ministry carried out a total of 50 inspections at workplaces around the island and issued four fines, the spokesperson said.

Two of them concerned construction sites, while the remaining ones were given to restaurants utilising delivery services in violation of the current law, which states that food and other related delivery services are to be banned during orange and red heatwave warnings.

Each fine was for €500.

Meanwhile, animal shelters across Cyprus are also sounding the alarm, as they are grappling with the challenge of keeping mostly cats and dogs safe from the extreme temperatures.

According to a report on Philenews, most shelters have suspended dog walking in the past week to avoid any problems arising from the adverse weather conditions, which are also challenging due to the limited number of volunteers.

The same reports also says that most shelters are designed to accommodate up to 60 dogs and cats, but currently, most of them are housing at least double the number.

Moreover, the first case of heatstroke was reported on Thursday, as a man was admitted to the A&E department at the Nicosia general hospital with severe symptoms of dehydration.

The health ministry on Friday said the man’s condition has improved, although he remains under observation at the hospital.

“The incident reiterates the need for strict adherence to heat protection in the current weather conditions,” the ministry said, adding that public hospitals are prepared for heat-related emergencies.

“Avoid unnecessary travel, drink plenty of fluids, wear light and loose-fitting clothing, and refrain from consuming heavy meals and alcohol,” the statement advised people.

The forestry department has also issued warnings and calls for extreme caution and reminds that there are hefty fines and prison sentences for those who light a fire.