COVID-19 cases in Republic of Cyprus rise to 116

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-24 02:40:41|Editor: yan
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NICOSIA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus authorities announced on Monday 21 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's total to 116.

Monday's new cases included 12 which were related to previous cases and three related to the General Hospital in Paphos, according to the Health Ministry.

Government spokesman Kyriakos Kousios said the authorities are certain that there will not be any more COVID-19 cases imported from other countries because of a ban on flights which came into effect on Saturday.

However, he said, health authorities are concerned over the spread of the virus as a result of local infections as hundreds of citizens are disregarding calls for restricting their movements voluntarily.

He said he was shocked by the lack of self-discipline and the sight of hundreds of people going on mass outings on Sunday in popular seaside spots, taking along their barbecues.

Similar scenes were recorded on social media, which showed people organizing barbecues in mountain spots.

President Nicos Anastasiades chaired a ministerial meeting on Monday to consider developments and possible new measures, such as a mandatory ban on movement in line with several other European Union countries.

Anastasiades will make a televised address later in the evening. Kousios, the spokesman, said any ban on movement will only come into effect after an approval by Cyprus' top lawyer, the Attorney General, who must rubber stamp any restriction on the freedom of movement.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Turkish-controlled part of Cyprus announced four new confirmed cases since Sunday, with its tally now at 39. Thus the total for the eastern Mediterranean island rose to 155.