Cyprus close to containing virus says minister

Cyprus is close to reaching its target of containing the coronavirus but is not yet there, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Thursday.

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In a statement on Twitter, Ioannou said: “Day by day we are reaching our goal of containing the (coronavirus) cases. However, we have not yet reached the end.”

The Republic has so far recorded 790 cases but results in recent days seem to show that strict restrictions placed on the population appear to be working as the daily tally of new cases dropped.

The government was not focusing on a strategy of restarting the economy, which has been effectively shut down for the past two months.

Any move towards that direction would depend on the epidemiological data of the coming days.

At 11:30am Thursday, President Nicos Anstasiades is expected to brief party leaders on the developments regarding the pandemic and the economic fallout following an earlier meeting of the cabinet.

The discussion will focus on then plan to relax restrictions and the government measures to shore up the economy, including a scheme to provide €2bn in state-backed lending, which parliament was still discussing.

The leadership is also expected to discuss the latest foray of a Turkish drillship inside the island’s exclusive economic zone.